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THE STONE WALL
| STONE WALL w
$ AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY ||
| By MARY CASAL
|i CHICAGO |
ii EYNCOURT PRESS
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Copyright, 1930, by The Eyncourt Press
Printed in theU. S. A.
IF YOU do not want to hear the truth about
things which have been greeted with that most
dangerous weapon, "S-s-s-sh," don't read this
book, said weapon being to my mind more danger-
ous to the development of the human mind and soul
than the machine gun is to the body of a man placed
in front of the firing line.
I believe the time has come when there should be
less secrecy about matters which are at the root of
many evils of today. Not a new thought. Many are
thinking along those lines and many are accepting
very frank articles now written on sex problems
which bear on the conduct of the youth of today.
Novels are being written dealing in open terms
with the so-called normal types of humans, leading
one through the various channels of lovemaking
and the resultant episodes, leaving nothing to the
imagination, but supplying a few asterisks to con-
form to the ideas of the snooping reformers and
This book is not fiction. I am writing of my own
life; my actual experiences from my earliest recol-
lection to the age of nearly seventy years.
Many will declare it to have been an abnormal
life. I do not believe every woman has been through
all the experiences that I have (I certainly hope
not for their sakes), but I do believe that every
woman has had some of the problems that I have
had to face.
Many will deny a knowledge of any of them,
afraid to acknowledge even to themselves the
whole truth. In judging reactions in a child's mind,
I ask the readers of today to remember that I was
born in 1864, and also to realize the atmosphere of
the home life of that period.
I expect to speak openly of things which, in the
modern novel, are represented by asterisks; on the
stage by the lowering of the curtain; in the press
many times without restriction, but as ordinary
"news" to sell the paper, and in conversation by a
rising of the eyebrows or a shrug of the shoulders.
It has taken courage to bare the facts of an ex-
traordinary life, but it is done with the sincere hope
that it may throw light from a new and different
angle on the effort of the parent to understand chil-
dren, and also to bring out the thought that without
truth nothing may be accomplished in this life.
A FEW plants of mullein, commonly known
in the East as "Indian tobacco," showed
themselves in my garden. Weeds. They
must be hoed up, but the velvety sage green of the
fuzzy leaves held my hand. My mind went back
many years, recalling a sermon I once heard a Unit-
arian minister preach on the subject "What is
weeds?" He prefaced his talk with the recital of an
experience in his garden one morning, when a small
boy, peeping through the fence, asked the usual ques-
tion "What yer doin'?" The minister answered:
"I'm pulling up weeds." "What is weeds?" asked
the boy. The memory of that sermon stayed with
me for many years; and now asserted itself. Who
shall determine that such is a weed which must be
hoed up because it always has been? Those mullein
"weeds" grew and flourished, carefully tended as
were the legitimate flowers in the garden. How
grateful they seemed. The leaves broadened and
covered much space. The glimpse of that wonderful
Corot green daily went to my heart as the pictures
from that great artist's hand had ever done.
The first year, the leaves, catching the sparkling
frost in the early morning, or the raindrops clinging
in jeweled splendor and again the gentle dew, gave
a varied tint that ever seemed to speak to me in
gratitude for the care and interest I had given the
The second summer found the flower stalk rising
to heights unknown in its wild state. Many were
the friends who "Never would have thought of
bothering with a weed" but who stood in admira-
tion before that bed of mullein.
Live things have always interested me. Full of
vitality, I have always entered into work or play
with great enthusiasm. I believe I have excelled in
both. There are times now, at the age when I have
become less active, when I feel that perhaps I was
one of the "weeds" that should have been pulled up
and thrown away.
Does one often have the courage to tell the whole
truth about himself or herself? I am going to do it,
come what may. Do we all have two lives to lead?
I have led two distinct lives all my life. I should
be much over a century in years if each life were to
be spread out along separate lines. In both of these
lives I have been absolutely sincere.
I do not expect to solve any great problem, nor
have I a cure for the many ills of society of today.
I have a fairly good answer to the question, "Why
are we all liars?" Oh yes, we are, and you know it,
and we have been all of our lives. We have all lived
the most cruel, heartbreaking lies. I know why I
have done so, and I believe many will acknowledge
that the shoe fits them so well that they will be able
to put it on and walk right out of the shop wear-
I have read many works on adolescence and on
matters of sex, but nearly always they are filled
mainly with theories and couched in such language
that it is hard for the lay mind always to grasp the
meaning. There will be nothing to follow here that
all may not understand.
I was born in the country, in New England, of
poor, because honest, parents. Maternally from that
prolific Mayflower stock of Puritans, and paternally
from an artistic line of English origin — musicians
and painters largely — with views somewhat broader
than the "May Blossoms."
I was born, then, in 1864, the ninth and last of
a flock. My brothers and sisters used to comfort me
with the statement that our parents were so dis-
gusted when they saw me, that they would not order
any more. In later years I would retort that when
they reached perfection they canceled all further
When playtime years arrived my only compan-
ions were boys — one brother and three cousins who
lived just across the road. My tastes ran naturally
to boys' sports and the out-of-doors life. To this
fact I have always attributed my masculine tastes in
dress and otherwise. I have always felt most at
ease in tailored suits, low-heeled shoes, using large
handkerchiefs, etc. I have felt that I must be physi-
cally comfortable to do my best work. I have simply
ignored convention in dress; hence I believe I have
done some good work. I have enjoyed smoking all
of my life. Before women smoked as openly as they
do now, I excused my doing so by saying that I
played with boys in my younger days and had to
smoke in order to do so, as they were afraid I might
"tell" on them otherwise.
Nothing could ever induce me to play with dolls.
How I hated one that was given to me one Christ-
mas when I so longed for a jack-knife! My disap-
pointment was so keen that my father loaned me his
bright copper-handled knife with instructions that
I should sit in one place on the big roots of a huge
elm tree and whittle a particular stick which he
gave me. What joy! In less than five minutes the
family was summoned by my shrieks ! I had cut the
first finger of my left hand right through the first
joint, and there it hung by the skin underneath. My
oldest sister promptly broke the heads oft a few
matches from a card of the same, put the splint
under the finger joint and bound it up with a strip
of cotton cloth from the "sick bag." Today there
is not even a scar, and I have had the use of a per-
fectly good finger with a normally movable joint
all of my life. Thinking of the great advance which
has been made in first aid devices and the skill which
has been acquired in surgery, makes me tremble to
think of what might have been my loss if that ac-
cident had happened in recent years.
"Out with the boys" was my slogan and my joy.
Sports! How I loved their games, and I might say
"my games," for my imagination was ever as alert
as theirs and they were equally as keen about my
suggestions as they were about their own. My broth-
er, however, was looked upon as the real "boss" as
he was the oldest of the group.
The old family homestead where my cousins
lived, and the farm opposite — my home — were the
scenes of real and celebrated Indian battles in the
early days. We knew the stories of these bloody
fights so well that we lived them over in our imagi-
nation and, barring the blood, they figured in all of
We had wonderful collections of Indian arrow-
heads, spears, mortars and pestles, and pottery,
which we picked up here and there all over our
farms. In the fall, we rejoiced in the wigwams
made of stacked-up cornstalks, a bit more than did
our forefathers, I fancy.
Of course I was made to sew and knit and do all
the conventional things that a New England girl
was supposed to do, but my stint was a nightmare
and nearly always done while the boys waited im-
patiently outside of the window. The games were
not complete without me, as I matched them in
skill and surpassed them in some of the contests.
When they had work to do I was only too happy
to pitch in and do my share. Their work always
seemed so much more interesting than mine. There
was some sense in piling wood, splitting kindling,
pulling weeds, and going for the cows, but to see
my mother cut perfectly good pieces of calico up
into tiny pieces and fix them for me to sew together
again seemed so futile! Poor mothers of those days!
Nowadays, work in that line is mostly done in
schools, and made very enticing.
My joy was complete when I was allowed to
wear boy's clothes when out-of-doors at play. I fancy
that this digression from the conventional was al-
lowed by my mother as a labor saving device, as
skirts and petticoats were often in a sad state after a
bird's nest hunt or other romping games.
I recall a rather amusing episode which I will
relate to show that we were all boys together. We
had large collections of birds' eggs. We were taught
to take but one egg from the nest and never to touch
the others. We took turns climbing high in the
trees to get a coveted egg. It was my turn to climb
and the nest was in a very difficult place. I reached
it in good form and placed the egg in my mouth on
my return scramble. I was nearly on the ground when
my foot slipped and the egg broke ! Oh ! Horrors ! It
was far too ripe to be palatable and I landed in great
distress of mind and mouth. Nevertheless, I was
pounced upon and given a big beating by the "other
boys" who cared not for my discomfort. The loss of
that one egg was long held up to me as a disgrace of
IN THE midst of one of the great and glorious
games in the big barns, when I was in my ele-
ment, dressed in one of the boy's suits, it became
necessary for me to retire to the house for pressing
reasons. After questioning as to the seriousness of
the matter, and finding that it was only "bo-bo,"
the name we all used for the lesser call of nature, the
boys settled it then and there that it would not be
necessary for me to go to the house as I had on a
pair of trousers. They showed me the little hole in
front that was put there conveniently for that very
purpose. We were all quite relieved that the games
would not be interrupted.
They told me to go to the corner, as they had been
taught to do, and turn my back and that seemed to
be all the instruction necessary. I could not seem to
fathom the mystery of the said opening as a solution
to my increasing desire to relieve myself. The two
seemingly important things were in evidence. The
little hole in the trousers and the secluded corner —
but, what next?
They explained that I must just pull out some-
thing before I could accomplish the act. But there
was nothing to pull! I protested. The clan then as-
sembled in serious conference. First one and then the
other tried to find what they supposed grew on all
children alike, but to no avail !
Alas! Nature asserted itself, and I had to go to
the house then, dripping with tears and otherwise
crushed and broken, in my fall from the pedestal of
equality with the boys. I went straight to my mother
and, through tears of disgrace and rebellion, tried to
tell her that I was not made right and telling her
freely all that had happened.
The result? I was promptly spanked during the
course of changing my clothes. I was given the ever-
to-be-detested sewing and made to stay in the house,
without one word of explanation as to why. I believe
my terror of the truth and my loss of confidence in
my mother began at that moment. I was not allowed
to wear trousers for a long time. I presume it was
felt that the spanking had given me the clue that
another would follow if there should be a repetition
of the episode. Possibly the greatly increased basket
of mending had something to do with my mother's
finally yielding to my entreaties for the boy's clothes.
Until then I had always been conscious of the con-
tempt of the boys and my pride was suffering.
When at last I appeared "clothed in my right
mind," as I felt, my self-respect restored, and
hoping my standing with the boys would be back
to normal, I was fairly happy. Yet I sincerely
believe we were even then wondering about things.
Was that method used by my mother wise? Ac-
cording to her lights it must have been. Tradition
How much better it would have been for our
parents to have frankly discussed the sex questions
as they were raised, and to have explained the rea-
sons for the difference in anatomy between boys and
girls. How much could have been saved for the gen-
erations which followed. But they were so bound to
tradition they simply could not bring themselves to
such a course.
To my mind, that was the time all of the wonder-
ful truths of creation should have been explained to
us in a beautiful way. When the child is capable of
wondering is the time to explain without reserve.
What was the result of the method used by my
mother? There followed frequent discussions be-
tween us children regarding our discovery of the
difference in our make-up. If I had been punished
for telling about it, it must be something worthy of
investigation. It was definitely decided that it would
never do to go to my mother with any further tales
of such discussions or investigations. It was decided
that it was only a case of lack of development in my
parts; that the little lip which had been pulled and
hauled at the time I was trying not to interrupt the
game by going to the house, would grow and be-
come like that of the boys.
My disgust that I had not in the beginning been
created a real boy, instead of having to wait for cer-
tain parts to develop, began at that time.
Mystery now connected itself with this difference,
whereas formerly trousers and petticoats were the
only marks of difference in sex. When I wore trou-
sers, I had been a real boy, or so it seemed to all of us.
I could not have been over three or four years old
at that time, while my brother and one cousin were
two years older. I often hear people say that a child
is too young at that age to understand any of the
truths of life. I still maintain that the moment that
a child begins to wonder is the time for reasonable
explanations. A child is a rational human being the
moment he is conscious of the difference between yes
I know I would have understood why I was
spanked on that momentous occasion if it had been
explained to me, else why have that episode and the
mental reactions it engendered remained in my mind
all these years?
Secret sessions were now being held at intervals,
first with my older cousin and with my brother.
Their curiosity was much greater than mine. It was
enough for me to have to bear the disgrace of being
the alien. But from that time on I was forced to sub-
mit to these sessions under the threat of not being al-
lowed to join in the sports I so dearly loved. I simply
had to acknowledge the superiority of the male be-
cause he was so much more perfectly and conven-
The two older boys must have gained some knowl-
edge of the sort they would get from the "hired men"
or older boys at school, as they kept up the demands
upon me. Not often, but occasionally. At first it
seemed to be a matter wholly of curiosity. They
seemed to be watching for developments as to my
becoming like unto them. In a way, this also inter-
ested me as I remember my dismay each time when
"no progress" was reported. We were bound to se-
crecy for obvious reasons. The lesson in deceit was
well learned by this time. Most parents believe that
when any question bearing on the matters of sex or
pertaining to "private parts" (what a disastrous ap-
pellation ! ) arises, one good spanking will put an end
to all trouble; whereas it is just the beginning of a
life of deceit and the birth of a barrier to confidences
between parents and children.
I am not trying to prove an alibi by saying that I
was not keen on these sessions of adventure. I really
do believe it was the terror of giving up the sports
with the boys which were my very joy. It was done
in much the same spirit as was the work in the house
I had to do: a means to an end.
I had work to do regularly. It was never made in-
teresting for me, as I have made it for lots of chil-
dren during my adult life, but it was demanded of
me as it was my duty! Duty! I believe every child
hates that word. We better understand the futility
of that argument in after years, but in our youth we
are unable to reply: "We did not ask to come into
the world. We are the price or perhaps the reward.
You probably did not want us. You talk of our duty
to our parents. What is your duty to us?"
However I never liked to sew or knit or wash
dishes or sweep, but I did it every day and never
sulked. I had a sister, older than I, who also hated
to do the dishes. She always cried her task through
and my mother placed a board up over the sink and
every time my sister cried mother would make a
chalk mark on the board. When there were many
marks, sister would cry harder than ever, so I believe
the experiment was given up.
I was always merry. While I have boasted that I
was never whipped in school, I realize it was due to
the fact that I often got the teacher laughing before
the fatal blow fell, and in that way I escaped the
usual whipping. In those days it was never "Did you
get a whipping today?" but "How many times?"
I worked rapidly, as the incentive was nearly al-
ways right outside of the window, in the shape of
three boys waiting for me to come out to play.
As time went on a great discovery was made by
the older boys, that their little organs had life and
vitality. How important they felt! They had to
show me how wonderful this was. Privately, of
course, as neither boy wanted the other to know of
his sessions with me. We had now given up all hopes
that there would be any development in my anato-
my, and we had to submit to the fact that I was and
always would be different and on a lower level than
they. This was a heartbreaker for me.
I do not want to give the impression that our
minds were always on the subject, as might seem by
this account. We had wonderful games, mostly of
our own inventing. We hunted Indian relics with
enthusiasm, digging for days in order to find every
piece of an Indian pot which had, without doubt,
been buried in some grave. We took long tramps in
the woods, hunting imaginary wild animals. We
played ball in the summer and coasted and skated in
the winter. We built up strong and vigorous bodies
without the aid of vitamines or calories. In short,
we were normal children — the same as many chil-
dren are today. Thanks be, there are some parents
who have opened their eyes! It is my hope that this
tale will pry open a few more.
It was not long before the idea seemed to dawn
upon us that there must be some reason why a boy
and a girl were differently made. I never knew
where the boys got their information. I never cared.
When I expressed any surprise that they knew so
much, I was only given the answer that "boys knew
those things," and did not wish to enlarge upon the
fact that caused me so much pain.
Some vague explanation seemed to come from
watching the animals about the farm. We had been
piously told not to look when a rooster was on top
of a hen, as it was "naughty." What greater incen-
tive could a child have than to be told that? Of
course we stared our eyes out to find out what was
"naughty" about that silly act.
It did not seem to hurt the hen or the rooster. We
gathered just as many eggs. The hens all went about
their scratching just as before. No one was punished,
so the inference was that the parents did not know
what they were talking about, and I believe we were
about right. Experiments followed in "playing hen
and rooster," always on the sly and never under-
standing why, while I felt the ever increasing deg-
radation of having to play the part of the inferior
and submissive "hen" !
I hated these games, which thanks be, were not
frequent, but endured them for fear I would be
denied the joys of the other and more appealing
In this analysis of my earliest recollections my
object has been to determine whether my early
propensities were of a sexual character. If this book
is to be of any value in solving any problem, it would
be my desire to speak just as freely of any satisfac-
tion I derived from these experiments as I do of the
disgust. I do not mean physical satisfaction, of
course, but they were really not interesting to me,
even as a matter of curiosity.
I MUST have been about eight or nine years old
when another experience came into my life.
Living as I did on a farm, I was ever on the
alert about any happenings outside of the house.
Indoors meant certain feminine affairs which never
interested me. I did not object to work. I have never
As I look back now on those early days I believe
that I was rather imposed upon by my brother. I
would work my hands sore doing his "chores" or
helping him, in return for a special promise of a
race on horseback or some other sport, which was
In the spring, when the "river broke up" and
the great cakes of ice started down, there would
come the great "flood."
When I look at that "great river" now, I smile to
see it as a narrow little mill stream diverted from a
small, but very beautiful tributary to the Connecti-
cut. However, it looked large to us in those days.
That spring flood was as important and exciting to
us as the great flood was to the children of Noah.
We were not allowed to go near the swollen
stream but as a safer way we were sent to the big
barn where we could see from some of the high
windows, the meadows covered with water.
The proverbial "hired man" was, of course, in
the barn, as the heavy rain made outside work im-
possible. As I was a girl (perhaps), and a bit shorter
than the boys, the hired man lifted me up to a high
window 1 where I could see as much of the "flood"
as the boys who were perched on the high beams.
Suddenly I felt a hand under my clothes and this
beast of a man was fumbling about. I was furious
and quickly scrambled out of his arms. He whis-
pered to me to keep still and, if I told, he would
throw me into the flood. He never touched me again
but would try to bribe me to go to the barn, which
I always refused to do. I imagine it was not easy, as
candy was a rare thing in our young lives. All my
instincts were against any contact with that man,
and I finally told him if he ever spoke to me again
I would tell my father and he would be sent away.
From that episode I realize that my natural in-
stincts were not along sexual lines. I have known
girls of that age who have told me that it was fun
to have some one play with their privates.
Why I should have submitted to that sort of
thing with the two boys is obvious. I was simply
paying the price of companionship.
There was a third family in the little group of
homes in the neighborhood where we lived. These
people were very close friends of my parents. The
man and his wife were both very musical, and their
little boy was one of my group of playmates. Music
was my father's profession, before he lost his voice
for concert work and went to farming. Our home
was the musical center, not only of the neighbor-
hood, but of the town, even though we lived two
and a half miles away.
My father still had a charming tenor voice and
the neighbor, whom we will call Mr. Wiggins, had
a very deep bass. His wife always accompanied the
singing feasts. I was in my element at these times,
for I loved all music. To me, at that time, it was
of course just the beautiful sounds and the harmony
of the two voices that thrilled me. It was a veritable
soul feast. I would sit for hours and listen to their
music, enjoying it as keenly as I always did the
Mr. Wiggins was something of a god to me. I
would marvel over his deep, rich, bass voice. In
many ways it touched me even more than my fa-
ther's tenor. As I said, my father's voice was on the
wane and when it will be remembered that I was
the ninth child, it will be understood that he could
not be in his prime. He kept up his teaching for a
long time, however.
The young son was never admitted to the inner
secrets of the "private investigation committee,"
although he joined in our sports.
There were no so-called desirable girls in the
neighborhood for me to play with, so my parents
thought. I fully agreed with them, as the girls al-
ways wanted to play dolls, a thing I considered ut-
Often it is said that a girl's love for dolls is in-
dicative of her future love for her children or for
children in general. I never could make a doll seem
real to me. I could look upon a tomahawk which I
had carefully carved from wood, as a real weapon,
but not so with a puppet. But I loved taking care of
and playing with a real baby. The only one available
in my early life belonged to a Swedish couple who
worked for my uncle and lived in one of the little
farm houses quite remote from our home. The
Swedish mother was very glad to give the baby over
to my tender mercies, whenever I appeared. It
throve in spite of, rather than because of, I fear, the
care I gave it. Not that I abused it, but my arms
were not long nor were they capable of adjustment
about a wiggling husky baby boy. It was always re-
ferred to as "my baby."
I remember that I always applied to the mother
when a change of garments was imperative. To me
now this fact seems rather significant in that, al-
though I had been instructed in the anatomical dif-
ferences between boy and girl, I had no further
curiosity, as I would have had if my mind had been
sexually warped. Every time my mind was directed
to the thought of the male there was only further
rebellion over the fact that I was not created a boy.
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One might think that most of my life had been
spent in the discussion of matters pertaining to sex.
When instances of precocious sexual behavior have
been brought to my attention, I have in a very few
words gone right to the bottom of the cause and
effect and then dropped the subject. The knowledge
I have thus gained I have found to be of great value
in the life which I have led.
There has always been some quality in my make-
up to inspire confidence of young and old. I have
ever adopted the attitude of sympathetic interest.
When problems came up for which I felt, in my
wide experience, I had an answer, I believe I have
helped many towards their solution.
Now to go back to the "musical evenings" and
the events which followed. The three families of
which I have spoken in our little neighborhood
group, while occupying three separate houses, were
like one great family. The children were in and out
of each house with equal freedom and the several
cookie jars were open to all.
There was a fourth house where the children
loved to go. The old uncle and aunt who lived
there, childless, were both deaf and dumb and in
their house we were never "sushed."
The old uncle was a mender of shoes, for our own
families mainly, and he was kept very busy repair-
ing the scuffed-out toes and soles for three families
of lively children. I used to go often, by myself, to
watch the process of making the waxed end and
fastening on the hog's bristles for a needle. I was
allowed to help at times, and in those days I firmly
believed that to be a shoemaker was the goal at
which I aimed. I loved to work with my hands. I
do not mean any thing as senseless as to sew a fine
seam or wash dishes, but in any other craft where
carpenter's tools or like implements were used, I
was in my glory.
One day I was shoe-mending with my uncle,
when Mr. Wiggins came in with a piece of harness
to be mended, while he waited. As he sat down I
happened to notice that his trousers were not fas-
tened in front and told him of it as quickly and as
innocently as I would have told my father. As I
was not allowed to "help" with his job of mending,
I soon started out to find something more interesting
to do, thinking no more of the occurrence of the
As I started for the door Mr. W. told me to wait
in the shed for him, as he wanted to see me. Of
course I did as I was told. He came out and led me to
a dark corner of the shed and told me to be quiet
and he would show me something nice. He then
proceeded to expose himself. I started to get away
but he lifted me up in his arms and held me tightly.
I begged him to let me go, but he threatened me
with an awful whipping if I did not stay and be
quiet. Not that he expected the deaf people in the
house would hear me if I cried out, but my own
house was near. He made me take hold of that
awful member and then he kissed me in the most
disgusting way, which fairly made me sick, and I
gagged so that he had to let me go. He told me if I
ever told anyone he would kill me. Of course, I was
terribly frightened and upset and — whom could I
tell? On the next musical evening I pretended I did
not feel well and wanted to go to bed soon after
I could not bear to hear that glorious bass voice
and buried my head under the clothes so I could
not hear it. One of my gods had fallen. How I
suffered! I have never heard a deep bass voice since
without the events which I have just mentioned,
and others which followed, flashing across my mind.
My preference for that quality of voice was de-
AFTER spending much of a long life trying
to bury all of the unhappiness which has
come into my life, it is a rather hard task
to bring all of these things to life again.
While I suppose I have always been conscious of
the events of my life, I do not want to give the im-
pression that I have always been brooding over
them. They were, to me, past and I have had great
happiness out of the present, though with it new
sorrows. I was born to be happy. The life that people
have known, loved, and even admired, has been
absorbing to me, and I have been able almost to
forget the shadows which have come into my life
and which I believe come into most lives.
Soon after the experience in the shed at my deaf
and dumb uncle's house, I was sent to the Wiggins'
house on an errand. I went right in, called as I al-
ways did, and found that there was no one there
but Mr. W. As my errand was with Mrs. W., I
turned to go, but he caught me and drew me into a
dark hallway. I struggled to get away but he held
me, loosened my underclothes, and did something
which hurt me dreadfully and made me scream with
pain. He held his hand over my mouth and fright-
ened me with awful threats. If I told anyone, my
father would kill him, and then my father would
be hung for doing so. In my terror I kept still.
I felt sick and sore all day and for several days.
I did not play. When I went to bed mother went
with me. How I wanted to tell her what had hap-
pened, but I was terrified.
I realize now that even though I was very young
for maturity, my mother must have had it in her
mind and was on the lookout for it, as I had been
so mopey and quiet, not caring to play as usual.
Much to my horror I discovered some blood on
my underclothes and tried to hide it, thinking my
mother would know just how it came there, and
probably picturing immediate murders, battles, and
sudden deaths. Her eyes were keen and she asked
me if I had hurt myself in any way and of course I
said "no," trembling the while inside. "Well," she
said, "It is nothing to worry about, this happens to
all little girls when they are about your age." She
then fixed a cloth for me to wear and told me to
call her before I dressed in the morning. I clearly
remember that night of terror. The dread of that
morning! I thought, of course, as she said it was
"what happened to all little girls," that she knew,
as I did, where the blood came from and that the
next day was to be one of murder and bloody history
in my young life.
Why, oh why was I a girl! Such a curse! Small
wonder that I thought so. Morning came, and noth-
ing happened. I was told there would not be any
more blood and I must be a little quiet that day. I
was glad to be quiet for I was still very sore and un-
comfortable. I felt relieved, as what my mother told
me corroborated what Mr. W. had said, that he
would not hurt me again.
What an influence that event has had, all through
my later life, in dealing with adolescence, as an ar-
gument for the enlightenment of youth on questions
of life and sex! But I have never before given this
reason in support of that argument.
Can anyone imagine a more dreadful thought than
to have been given the impression which I received
from my mother — that it was normal and usual that
some man should sever that delicate tissue, so fright-
ening a little girl that she dared not cry out in rebel-
lion? Another and a more dreadful reason why I
should so rebel at being a girl ! That was the only in-
formation my mother ever gave me about coming
to maturity. At least, nothing else that she may have
said made the slightest impression on my mind.
Added to the former threats by Mr. W. were the
assurances that if I told, Mrs. W. would probably
kill me and there could be no more musical evenings.
I realized, even at that age, that I could not treat
him as I had the hired man. He was the master; a
dear friend of the family. I was not old enough to
argue with him, I had but to do his bidding, believ-
ing it to be the penalty one must pay for being a girl.
But why the awful secrecy? I wonder if those argu-
ments in a child were justifiable. Was I trying to
hidd under an "alibi"? I know I hated the whole
thing and I believe I am sincere in describing the re-
actions I experienced at that time, yet I have always
heard it said that a girl need never be led astray. I do
believe that now, but with so young a child I hardly
think such a theory holds good. I certainly was not
seduced; I was forced into that situation.
In short, I was a slave to that man for several
years. When he told me to go to a certain place, I
had to go and endure the most awful things at his
pleasure. I was never one to go away by myself, and
I grew very sly in my maneuvers to get away from
the rest of the "boys." I knew that if they saw me
going away, they would surely follow, as they would
think I had discovered a bird's nest or some other
marvel of nature. If they should ever discover the
real reason of my going, then would come the dire
calamities predicted by Mr. W. I surely learned the
arts of strategy and intrigue.
These meetings were not so very often, but I never
went out to my play without the fear that I might
see the signal for me to go down to the woods.
During the earlier sessions he was apparently very
careful not to hurt me, using his finger to "make the
place big," as he said. It was painful, however, each
time he touched me, I begged him not to ask me
to come again. But again the threats, so I felt I had
to do so. I told him what my mother said when she
saw the blood on my clothes, and he laughed and said
it was a good joke. I failed to see it and told him so.
Finally he accomplished the beastly act which he
had made up his mind to. How I wished I had never
told him that the buttons of his trousers were not
fastened, as I thought that was what led up to all of
this horror ! I suffered no serious pain at these times
and I marveled at his apparent ecstatic delight. His
kisses nauseated me and I was filled with disgust.
The disgrace of the whole thing which I felt must
be wrong, in spite of what my mother had said, took
much of the joy from my beloved games.
I was not wholly cast down, however, but like all
normal children I was able to forget between times.
I told no one of this. Mr. W. passed on many years
ago. I realized that perhaps, in a vague way, these
meetings may have been a source of satisfaction to me
in that I seemed to be the agent whereby he gained
such joy, but never did I feel a physical thrill. All
of this happened before I reached maturity.
Up to this time, the act had no connection in my
mind with the creation of babies. I simply thought
that, as my mother said, "all little girls had that
thing happen to them"; that it was the role of the
female to make the male apparently happy for a few
seconds, under the penalty of death or serious social
and family complications, or deprivation of the
The first intimation that there might be a connec-
tion with the advent of babies came one day which
stands out clearly in my memory. It was a cold win-
ter's day when my oldest cousin took me for a drive
in a sleigh, on the river, which was frozen solid.
It was a wonderful ride. Tucked into the sleigh
with the large warm buffalo robes, life seemed very
full of joy. The woods bordering the sides of the
river with their carpets of snow, sparkling with mil-
lions of diamonds, presented a sight I shall never
forget. We drove nearly to the source of the river
when we thought best to turn around, as it was get-
ting quite narrow.
The horse was stopped and I was asked to go
through the old performance! To desecrate that
beautiful spot seemed cruel. I begged him not to do
such things. But no! If I did not comply he would
drive home without me.
On our way home my cousin said to me, "Now
you may have a baby." (He was probably eleven
years old). "You must watch, and if you find you
want to spit all the time, you must tell me, for that
it the sign that you are going to have a baby." I did
a lot of thinking and asked a lot of questions, but he
did not seem to have any further information for
me. So I wondered whether I would "spit" the baby
up or where it would come from. I think the idea
rather appealed to me. Being the youngest of nine
children, I had always longed for another baby in
the family, so that I could have someone to "boss,"
as I was always expected to obey the older ones. I
was warned not to tell anyone of the possibility, and
I wondered how I should explain things when I
might appear carrying a baby and saying that it was
About that time the Swedish woman showed me
a smaller baby which she had. I was so glad, as the
other one had become rather heavy for me to handle.
I remember the shouts which went up when I cas-
ually remarked when I got home, that "Sophy had
spit up another baby." I was glad that I was not
asked how I knew so much about babies, for I real-
ized I would not be able to tell them the truth. For
a while after the sleigh ride up the river I thought
I wanted to spit a great deal, in fact I was punished
for doing so, as I was told nice little girls did not do
such things. The matter was soon forgotten.
This reminds me of what a friend of mine told
me of her six year old son. One day he was led home
by a very angry mother of a little girl with whom he
had been playing. The angry mother told my friend
that these children had been found lying in the fur-
row of a plowed field in a very compromising posi-
When the mother had gone home, my friend felt
that she must reprimand her son so she said, "Don't
you know it was very naughty of you to do such a
thing?" She said her son looked up at her with real
fear in his face and said. "Why, she ain't going to
have a baby, is she?" Friend mother had her first in-
timation that her baby had ever heard of such things.
She did not discuss the thing further with her son,
but thought it a huge joke. This was told me when
I was in college, but I felt I could then warn her
that she was not being fair to her son in not explain-
ing things to him. But I had not the courage then.
When my mother chided me for expectorating so
often I longed to ask her if she had to do it when she
"had" me. But of course that barrier was ever be-
tween us. Forbidden subject ! Each morning I would
wake up thinking there might be a baby that day.
After a while I grew tired of trying to make "spit"
enough, and the questionings of my cousin ceased.
I recall that in some way my cousin did convey
the idea that there might have been an egg deposited
inside of me that day on the ice and that the baby
would come from that egg. Then I wondered
whether I would have to sit on that egg as long and
as quietly as a hen did before the baby was hatched.
How my cousin became so wise I never found out.
At my questions, he would assume a superior air and
say, "Oh, boys always know those things." Again I
lamented the unwise choice of my sex, when that
last egg was laid by my mother.
I LOOK back now and realize the training
school of deceit founded by the parents of the
olden days in making such a mystery of the
simple truths of life and causing the most beautiful
ideas of creation to become so shamefully distorted
in the mind of the child. Things are very different
today. It will be said that many children are en-
lightened on these subjects, yet it is my conviction
that the knowledge that is doled out to the children
of today is still too superficial. The parents them-
selves do not realize the depths of the wondering in
the minds of their children.
One of the favorite sports was camping out. We
used to go to a great pasture not far from the homes,
where the underbrush was quite dense, and make our
camp. We would hunt wild game in our imagination
and return to cook whatever names we had given to
the various supplies we had brought from home.
Chickens, like children, roamed at will over the two
farms (it will be remembered that both my father
and my uncle were artists and not in sympathy with
the conventions of the up-to-date farmer) and we
were allowed often to add a chicken to our menu.
It was probably eaten as being partridge or wild duck,
and as such was hugely enjoyed.
After supper, when it was beginning to grow
dusky, we would lie around the fire and discuss the
girls we knew. We used always to talk from the boys*
viewpoint; it never seemed to occur to the boys that
I was a girl, excepting when they were on the inves-
tigation committee. They then rather thought of me
as a female.
They always paid great attention to what I
thought of this and that girl. Not from a sexual
standpoint, but as to looks, cleverness in books or
sports, etc. By this time we had broadened our circle
of friends, as we were going to the village two
miles away for the higher schools. I was interested
in the girls in the same way as were the boys. I
never thought of discussing any of the boys. In my
mind a boy was always sized up as to his skill in
baseball, skating, dancing, and in his studies.
It was never my idea of a girl's friendship to get
together to talk about the boys. Most girls were of
this sort. When I found a girl who would be fond
of the same out-of-doors occupations as I and who
would talk about herself, I enjoyed her. I seemed
to be anxious to find out whether other girls were
like myself — in ideas, likes, and dislikes.
To go back a step to pick up one more experience,
in order to show what things were going on over a
half century ago. In the little New England district
school near our home the proverbial spelling match
was in progress. As the spaces were rather small for
standing room for all of the pupils at one time, it
was necessary for each side to stand two deep in line
and, as in all standing recitations, the hands were to
be held behind the backs. One of the "big boys" was
directly back of me and I suddenly felt something
pushed against my hand which, unfortunately, I
recognized and quickly put my hands in front of
me, for which I was promptly sent to my seat. This
was a great blow to me as I was one who usually
stood up the longest, and to think that I could not
tell the teacher why I put my hands in front of me
was even a greater blow. How I hated that boy and
showed my feelings often, I am afraid! To see him
standing there with such an innocent air, while I
had to pay the price of his filthiness, made me mad.
What was it that kept me from denouncing him
then and there? No one liked him, excepting the
teacher. He would have lied out of it and I would
have been dubbed a liar and a tattle-tale, neither of
which traits did I possess.
What a sad creature a professional prostitute
must be! I think they must choose to be of that
class. Certainly my early education and training by
the sort of males with whom I came in contact
might have led me to that end, had not my whole
nature and instincts revolted violently against all
contact with the male. In this manner I held my
position in accepted "good society" all of my life.
When I hear a doting mother say, as I often do,
"My boy or girl tells me everything!" I smile in
sadness, as I well know that the boys and girls are
few and far between who dare to tell their inner-
most thoughts and doings to their parents. Because
they talk freely about some things, the parent thinks
there is nothing held back. The shame which their
forebears have had drilled into them still has its grip
on each successive generation.
The frankness with which a girl answers her
mother today is to my mind bravado rather than
confidence. For instance, a mother of my acquain-
tance found in her daughter's vanity case a protec-
tor for the male during coition, and questioned her
daughter in tones severe as to why she should carry
one of these things about with her. The daughter
answered quite nonchalantly, "Why, we girls have
to furnish those things now ourselves or the boys
won't have anything to do with us." Result: Mother
so stunned she simply had no reply at hand, and
young daughter went on her way, rejoicing prob-
ably that said protector was not confiscated by
shocked Mamma and she obliged to swing her toes
idly at home for the evening, labeled "unpro-
tected." This mother wonders now how much there
may be that she does not dare ask, for fear she will
hear the truth and discover something even worse.
I was considered a "carefully brought up" child.
Consider what was going on right under the very
eyes of my parents. They knew as little fifty years
ago as do the parents of today know what problems
of sex their children are having to meet.
How different my own childhood would have
been if I had dared tell my mother the whole truth
about myself. I do not believe that a child is born
with a propensity for lying. Sad though it may seem,
I believe that lesson is taught to the tiny tot very
early in life. I do think that if my parents had
known the whole truth about me, they would never
have blamed me nor punished me. But the fear that
was instilled into me at the first spanking, when I
could see no reason for it, made me afraid ever after.
For years I fancied that the experience that I had
with the boys and men in my early life might have
had its influence on certain traits of character which
puzzled me for many years, and of which I shall
speak later. Now I believe that my nature was
normal from the beginning and that the dislike for
men as males was inherent.
A girl once told me of her life and that of her
sister when they were young, and even after they
matured, which convinced me more than ever that
I was not of their type. These two girls were brought
up in the country by a city-reared mother, the father
having passed on. They were rich, and the mother
was considered very exclusive by the people of
She brought city ideas into this small community.
Her girls were never allowed to go to a party, a
picnic, or out driving without a chaperone. Need-
less to say, the girls did not enjoy much popularity.
This girl told me that she and her sister had almost
daily relations with a common old Irishman who
worked about the place, although he had a home and
a large family near by.
These girls seemed to have been greatly thrilled
by the experience, which covered quite a long period
of years. They belonged to the next generation from
mine, which is one added proof of the statement
that the problems of sex have been present with all
children, from the beginning. Those thrills were
something I could not understand, even at her age
at the time she told me, although I was probably
much younger than she when I was initiated into
the mysteries of sex.
I find I am intruding more mature thoughts from
time to time, but now I will go back to my child-
hood days, as a child.
In our neighborhood there was an "older girl"
who was not, for some unknown reason, considered
a desirable member of society. While I was not for-
bidden to go to see her, my mother always discour-
aged my doing so, which of course stimulated my
desire to see her as often as I could.
One afternoon as I went in, I found her in a very
angry mood. She told me she was going to a dance
that night and she had "come around" that morn-
ing. I was mystified and asked her what in the world
she meant and where she had been. Then she gave
me a very crude and unpleasant description of the
monthly occurrence which I, of course, had in my
mind attributed to the painful manipulations of
some man, and that, once over, would never recur.
I did not let her know of these ideas, naturally, but
asked numberless questions. My whole being was in
rebellion that, being a girl, it was to be my lot to go
through all these fearful things, at times most in-
convenient, as she laid great stress on that point,
owing to her present predicament.
She went on, however, to enlighten me further
as to how to overcome this difficulty of having the
occurrence interfere with her dancing. She would
go out to a very cold brook, fed by water from a
mountain spring, and put her feet in it for a while.
The condition would then cease for a time, so that
she could be in comfort as to outside interference,
even though it might give her some pain.
She was also munching cloves by the dozen, as
she said they would dry up her blood and that was
good for such things !
She did not use delicate language and while all
of this was intensely interesting, quite making me
forget to go home on time, it also disgusted me still
further with my fate.
I ran all the way home and arrived feverish and
excited. I probably also looked very guilty, first for
being late and then on account of the filthy things
which had been told me. My mother looked at me
sharply and I saw visions of a spanking and early
retirement. I was not disappointed in these visions
and in addition I was definitely forbidden to go to
see that girl again. In a way, I must have reasoned
that there was some justice in that punishment for
I did feel that I had been told of things very nasty.
But in reality how unjust all of those punishments
were ! Poor mother did not know, however, and she
was doing her duty according to her lights.
I do not think I was ever a disobedient child. I
was never whipped at school but witnessed many of
the cruel floggings which were condoned at that
time. I took my spankings at home in much the
same spirit that I did the doses of "Elixir Pro" and
"Sulphur and molasses" (Ugh, I can almost gag at
the thought now!) with which we were dosed in
the morning before breakfast, every once in so often.
Not knowing why, just a nasty taste soon forgotten.
In one way I have been glad of those early chas-
tisements, for when I have had many children under
my care, I have been able to handle their punish-
ments in a far better and more effective way.
To me the natural mischief of children was like
the bubbling up of a spring of clear water. Who
would think of filling up that natural spring with
dirt and rubbish to choke it up? A spanking to my
mind would have the same effect on the free animal
spirits of the normal growing child.
I have found a child to be the most reasonable of
creatures. A discussion of deeds which are not de-
sirable, with a child whose brain is not clogged up
with all sorts of theories, brings quick and most satis-
A child is born with an exaggerated question
mark in his brain. I believe it would not be there
if there were not also there sufficient gray matter to
understand the answers to those questions, if the
fool older humans had developed brains enough to
have simple but truthful answers ready for them.
THE knowledge I had gained of life in the
awful ways which I have described made
me detest anything tending towards the
sexual in men or boys. As playmates and companions
I have always preferred them. To "play" with girls
seemed in a way very futile and almost degrading.
To be called a "Tom Boy" never grieved me; in
fact, I think I was rather proud of the epithet than
Now came the age when it was wiser for us to
go to the village to attend the higher schools.
At this time came my first impression of a girl
as a desirable friend. "We boys" had discussed cer-
tain girls whom we had met at Sunday School and
who used to come occasionally to our homes with
their parents to visit. One of these girls was a con-
spicuous choice among us all. I was obliged to join
groups of girls rather than boys at the larger schools
as it was not the custom for any one girl to play with
the boys and I did not want to be conspicuous in that
regard. The girls were mostly occupied in talking
about the boys, having sweethearts, and so forth.
Never in my life did I tell any one of the knowl-
edge I had gained, but many of these girls had in-
formation galore on subjects which I so despised.
I hadn't a sweetheart, nor did I think I ever
would want one. I found I was very much attracted
by this one girl, who was also very popular with all
the boys, including my older cousin. I was timid in
my approach in trying to win her attention and
interest. I would give her little trifles of fruit or
candy, and felt that I was experiencing toward her
the feeling that was termed love.
I did not get very far in my demonstrations of
affection. When I wanted her to kiss me good night,
she made fun of me and said it was silly for girls to
kiss. Still I was strangely stirred by her. I wanted to
kiss her. I wanted to touch her hand, to write little
notes to her, but finally her ridicule ended all out-
ward demonstration and I had to give it up. A real
"boy's puppy love." Her charm for me lasted for
years, though we were separated most of the time.
After I had finished my university course and
was in Boston for a time, teaching in a very select
girls' day school on Beacon Hill, this same girl was
studying music with the friend whose music had so
attracted me at my home when I was very young.
Fate had thrown my first love in the old school days
into my life again, for we lived together. Her music
was an added charm, but still she would not accept
any of my demonstrations of love.
This recalls an incident which will show that
youth has ever been on the alert for things forbidden
in matters of sex.
It was one of my duties to take a group of girls
(girls whose names have often appeared in the
select society columns of the press of exclusive Bos-
ton and who belonged to the "First Families") for
a walk around Louisburg Square. I noticed that they
always wanted to pass one house very frequently,
and would beg to go back and forth in front of this
house. There seemed to be a great but secret interest
in that one spot. I questioned one of the maiden
dames who owned the school about this, and she was
horrified. She told me that the house was one of the
most notorious houses of assignation in the city.
Without further comment here I will now go back
to the grammar school days.
I was always at the head of my classes, as it was
very easy for me to learn and master the tasks before
me. I was popular with both pupils and teachers. I
soon organized a girls' baseball club, and was cap-
tain of the team. Such a thing was unheard-of before
in the annals of the school. It was always thought
as unladylike to play ball. Much more ladylike to
sit and talk about things which to my mind were
vulgar and degrading, thought I. We had a real
"nine" and we often won in the matches with the
Even now, when I am approaching the age of
seventy, I sit and listen to the broadcasting of base-
ball games with the same enthusiasm, and play with
them as hard as I did many years ago.
Both of my older sisters married when I was quite
young. As the youngest child of the family I was
always a pet of the suitors both before and after
they were married. I was showered with gifts of
candy and toys by the one who came from the city
and was very rich and by the other who lived in the
village. The latter would take me for long walks
and drives, when my sister was occupied.
When I was about twelve I made my first visit
to my sister, who lived in Boston in the winter and
at the seashore in the summer.
My sister's husband, besides being a very success-
ful business man, was a talented musician, as was
his sister. He played the violin and sang, while she
made a specialty of the piano. When she made visits
to our home, long before my sister was married (as
the families were old friends), I would sit by the
hour near the piano to listen to her music. I was so
small that my feet would not touch the floor from
the chair in which I sat. Chopin was my favorite
composer, though I did not know his name. I would
indicate by humming some little melody which
selection I wanted her to play. I believe this was
considered quite remarkable at my age. I even de-
lighted in her playing of the scales, they were so
wonderfully well executed.
My sister's home in the city and at the shore was
always a popular musical and literary center. My
joy was very great during that first visit. Swimming
and rowing were my great delight, and my girl
friend at the time, who was a younger sister of one
of my sister's friends, owned a lovely boat, anchored
at a private pier almost in front of my sister's house.
She was a gentle, quiet girl and I assumed the role
of the male in my care and consideration of her. I
could row the best and without tiring, and it all
seemed very natural for us both. I began to feel for
her the same as I did for the girl at school already
mentioned, but this one reciprocated my affection.
We were constantly together during the days. No
one seemed to think anything strange of this absorb-
ing friendship, but rather expected to see us always
together. I liked to kiss her and she always returned
my kisses very willingly. When we were seeing the
other part way home after our day together we had
the proverbial long farewells. The only sensation I
felt was a great thrill right at the end of my breast
bone. I could feel my heart beating faster, but there
was no desire for anything more than that sweet
response to my love.
We spent many nights together, always in loving
embrace, repeating all the little love sayings, and
sleeping in each other's arms, perfectly happy. In
fact, the sensation was to me so perfect that I never
dreamed there could be any greater happiness in-
volved in physical contact.
One day, when I was preparing for my usual
swim, I noticed with dismay indications that things
were occurring which the undesirable girl had told
me of. But I also remembered what she had told me
about putting my feet in cold water, so I went ahead
and had my swim. The cold water did not seem
to function and I was in a dilemma as to how I should
conceal things from my sister, to whom I had never
even broached such subjects.
I felt that I would be disgraced for life if anyone
knew that the awful blight was upon me. The cold
bath did function to bring on severe pains and, be-
fore morning, I was obliged to let my sister know
what was the matter. She surprised me with a great
scolding, and told me how naughty it was for me to
go into the water at such a time, and said I was never
to do it again. She probably did something for the
pain I was having, but the unfair scolding took hold
of my thoughts. Why couldn't she have been reason-
able and have explained things to me? Of course I
did not tell her about my only source of information
on the subject, nor, alas! could I tell her that my
mother told me all about things, because she had not
How I writhed in pain, and more so in rebellion,
at being doomed to bear that degrading weakness
all of my life! From that time on I always suffered
intensely at every period.
After that wonderful summer with my sister and
the sweet girl with whom I was, as I thought, deeply
in love, new plans were made for me for the opening
term of school.
I realized later that, as I had now reached matur-
ity, it was felt that there might be times when it
would not be wise for me to take the long walks to
and from school. Arrangements were made for me
to board through the week with a very dear friend
of my mother's, going home on Friday nights and
returning Monday morning.
I was now absorbed in the frequent letters from
my sweet girl friend, and so gave up further ad-
vances towards the one at home, though I always
had a very tender feeling for her.
In the winter there was skating, which I loved,
and dancing, which was new for me — that is, the
round dances which were just beginning to be
There was a dancing school in the village that
winter and all of my mates attended. The lady with
whom I was boarding wanted me to go, as her son,
about my age, was going. For some unknown reason,
however, my mother would not consent to my
attending, so that ended the matter, much to my
Nevertheless, with very little help from the girls
during the recess hours at school, I was able to dance
as well as any of them, and I could lead much
better. It came more natural for me to take that
part, so a new joy was added to my life. The com-
bination of the music, such as it was, and the rhythm
of the dance went right to my heart and oh! how I
always loved to dance.
Even now, although my feet have long since
ceased to function on the dance floor, I never hear a
lovely waltz that I do not live over again many of
the thrills I experienced so long ago, when I was
with the right partner. I was simply on air when
The obdurate girl relaxed somewhat when we
danced together, as she considered me the best part-
ner among the girls. Yet the love-making was never
pressed beyond holding her rather closely and squeez-
ing her hand.
I was now getting a real joy out of life. The con-
tact with the boy cousins and my brother, being
broken by my staying in the village, was never
resumed and I could now easily evade the awful
Mr. W. on my short weekly visits home.
My next summer was spent with my sister at the
shore, much to my delight. My "summer girl" was
as near and dear to me as ever, and equally glad to
have me back again. And a new thrill was to be
added to my life this summer. I had never been to
a real society ball. The dances in our little village
were never honored by the word "ball." There was
approaching the great Charity Ball at the shore, the
leading social event of the summer. When my going
was discussed, I was put through a test as to my
ability to dance. It was found that I was not quite
up to the latest society waltz and polka, so my
brother-in-law, who was a perfect dancer, took me
in hand and in a short time I was pronounced "foot
perfect." My sister had a lovely little gown made
for me and, with costume complete and feet "rarin'
to go," what could have been more perfect! The
only fly in the ointment was that I could not dance
with my sweet girl! That real music and the won-
derful dancers I had for partners I shall never
It was the first real party for my girl also, con-
sequently we had enough to fill our time and minds.
So we were happy and content with the little chats
and comparisons of mental notes of our several
partners, with occasional sly words of love which
we felt for each other. I know I danced well. I
never sat through a dance, and had to refuse many,
as my card was over-full all the time. I was full of
life and enthusiasm, good color, probably was con-
sidered not unattractive looking, although I had too
many brothers and sisters to think much of my own
looks at that time, as one rarely gets compliments
from one's kin. The "sweet nothings" poured into
my ears during the dances were in reality "sweet
nothings" to me, and did not appeal to me at all.
A man, as a male, had no attraction for me, even
in dancing. The only impression he left with me
and the only thrill I got was from the way he
danced. If our steps matched, I seemed to be in a
rhythmic heaven, and when it was over, all the
squeezings and cooings passed away in the mist.
My brother-in-law was by far the best dancer on
the floor. I not only felt this but it was the general
verdict as well. He danced often with me, as my
sister was not very fond of dancing and was glad to
have him with me. He seemed to think I had been
a very apt pupil and was proud of his success, and
said the usual silly things, which I laughed off, though
there will be a revelation on this score further along
in my story.
THE following year my father was obliged
to be away from home teaching music, so
my mother took part of a large house in
the village for herself, my youngest brother and me,
all that were left at home at that time. In the other
part of the house lived an old lady and gentleman,
brother and sister, who were greatly respected in
the town, where they had always lived. I was always
taught to be kind to everyone and I think it has
always been my pleasure to be so.
My mother was greatly beloved by everyone, rich
or poor, old or young, and she was always ready to
go in time of need. It seemed that many people
thought they needed her very often.
I would meet these old people in our house on the
common stairs, and of course I would smile and chat
a little, as I would when I was sent to their rooms
on some errand. They asked me to come in some
evening to play cards with the old gentleman, who
would teach me a new game of "piquet," which
interested me, as I loved to play any card game.
My mother encouraged my going in when my
lessons were prepared, as it would "cheer up" these
elderly ones. I was quite willing, and loved to play
that game, as not many young people then knew
After a while, I began to be conscious that I was
hitting the old gentleman's foot very often, and would
always draw mine back with apologies, at first think-
ing it was my fault.
One day later I happened to be in the house alone
and, as I was coming down the stairs, I met him and
before I knew what was happening he had his hand
under my dress, and in trying to jump back I sat
down, tripping on the stair. He reached over to me
as if preparing to take further liberties, when I
brought my foot back and gave him a mighty shove
which sent him sprawling. I then got up and read
him the riot act in no mild manner. I thoroughly
frightened him, as I knew my mother was away and
could not hear me. He promised that if I would not
tell my mother he would never do such a thing
again. Tell my mother! Little did he know that it
was the one thing I would never dare to do, as I
would have expected a punishment myself as unjust
as the one I never forgot, and which had such serious
My visits to their rooms were less frequent, as I
would always try to invent some excuse for not go-
ing. My mother would insist, however, upon my
going once in a while, saying I was very selfish not
to try to bring some sunshine into the lives of these
old people. If she had known why I did not want
to go in there she would have brought something
besides sunshine into the life of that old beast. This
goes to show that in my life so far I found that sex
desire was present in the almost senile man as well
as in the very young.
As we lived in the villiage, I was now really a
part of the social life of the young people. When I
speak of my scholarship or my popularity or my
skill in all of the outdoor sports, I do not wish to
give the impression of boasting. Rather am I anxious
to call attention to the two distinct personalities in
my nature. All my life I have been trying to decide
which was my real self. At this writing, and view-
ing life from its terminus, as it were, I find that I
am of the conviction that both phases were very real
and both perfectly normal.
Again, I do not aim to give the impression that I
was always "playing a part." My mother instinct
has always been highly developed and when I was
in an atmosphere of femininity, if it were not too
"catty," I was as sincere as any other woman. On
the other hand, when associated with men, my mas-
culinity was perfectly natural.
In whatever enterprise or business I have been
engaged in my life, I have worked with sincerity
and have discharged my duties with success. I shall
speak later of my role as a wife, for in this I failed.
Of course, in this connection, I am speaking of my
mature life. As a child, when I was put to such tests,
naturally I was "not what I seemed," but what good
children are when they have been made to "be good"
by the methods commonly employed by parents?
Whether my great success in private theatricals
during my school and college days was due to a nat-
ural talent, or whether my early duplicity had its
influence, I could never decide, yet each character
I played was very real to me and I believe I made it
so to the audience. I will say that I was always more
at home in the male role. I have been told that I
have always had what is known as personality.
People have always thought me cleverer than I was.
I have enjoyed being rather different in my ap-
pearance or dress. I cared not a bit for "fashion," I
wanted to be very comfortable and then forget all
It has made me feel small indeed to be asked if I
were a professional, a scientific woman, or an artist,
for alas! I have never "majored" in anything but
If I had understood my nature early in life, as I
should have done, I feel I might have excelled in
almost anything that appealed to me. I should have
been an artist. That was the form of expression
which appealed to me, besides being a hereditary
gift. But I lacked patience and application to be
well grounded in the necessary technique upon
which to build. I painted naturally and obtained
effects of real merit. I had my box of paints ever at
hand, and when the inspiration moved me, I would
use them with all my heart.
I remember one summer, when I was home from
college, it was thought that a broad panel under the
mantle and over the fireplace in the dining room
needed painting, as the smoke from the fireplace
had discolored it. I said I would do it. I went out to
the fields, gathered a lot of flowers of all the kinds
then in bloom, and brought them in. I got my paints
and soon had on my palette every color which
showed in my bunch of flowers. I just threw them
on the panel just as they were, each flower about
as it grew and with all the characteristics of natural
growth, arranged so that there were no clashings of
color; quite a harmony, in fact. I did not spend over
two hours in doing this, and when my father came
in to have his smoke in his chair right beside that
fireplace, he was simply delighted and gave me a big
kiss and hug and said that that panel would never
be left there if he ever had to go away. Poor father !
He was taken away first. Then the home was broken
up and what became of the bunch of wild flowers I
As I said, in my youth I had not found myself,
and in later years I thought I had no time, as I had
to support myself and was too busy, an alibi common
to those who have not the will to accomplish things
in spite of obstacles.
But I must return to the time when I was in high
school. From now on, I had good pals among the
boys but, much to my delight, there were no sex
problems to contend with. I did not have to buy my
favors. I danced well, skated with the best of them,
and was jolly, so the story was told.
Now came the time when the boys and girls be-
gan to pair off as sweethearts. Then came some
worries on my part. I like all the boys as boys and
pals but I never could get up over any one boy a
thrill such as the girls described.
I still had my sweet girl at the seashore and, when
thinking of love, she satisfied me. We wrote fre-
quent letters and that was all I wanted, just to know
that she loved me, as I did her. But what was lack-
ing in my make-up was that I could not fall in love
with a boy, as the other girls did.
When "seeing me home," many would approach
me in an ardent mood and want to kiss me good
night, but I would fly away and would not tolerate
anything of the sort.
There was one boy in school whom I admired
very much. He was in a higher class than I, and
when he went to the blackboard and drew a won-
derful diagram with well-made letters at each and
every point and angle, taking then the pointer and
saying the magic word "theorem," I would be rapt
in my attention. I listened to every word he rattled
off, not understanding a thing about which he was
talking, but realizing that he did. Those "ifs" and
"buts" and "hences" thrilled me. I simply thought
him a paragon — which might have been a geometri-
cal figure, for all I knew then.
As I said, I was getting more and more worried
about not falling in love, and the girls were begin-
ning to think me queer, as I had no confidences to
exchange for theirs. One day I wanted a knife, so
motioned to the "paragon" whose seat was near
mine, asking for his knife. When he handed it to me
I saw a tiny scrap of paper tucked under the blade.
I opened the paper and found the words "Amo te"
written there in his very best style. (By the way, he
was by far the best penman in school, and I believe
his writing had more effect than the message he
wished to convey.)
Here enters the "female." When I returned the
knife I wrote a note and asked him what those words
meant. I had not begun to study Latin, as he had,
so that was the beginning of my first trial. Of course
he found an occasion in the near future to explain
the meaning of those words, and I accepted him as
my sweetheart and tried to feel "in love." I knew
what I felt for my "sweet girl."
Everyone in school seemed to be much more en-
thusiastic about the "match" than I. He was con-
sidered the best "catch" in school, but I was the only
one he ever approached. Perhaps it was because I
was about the only one who had not tried to catch
him. He and I often "tied scores" together at the
head of the school in scholarship and deportment.
So it went. The courtship was very free from the
proverbial thrills on my part, and never did I find
him unduly tender in his caresses. We went and came
together and kissed "Howdy" and "Goodbye," so I
did not find it so bad.
When I returned from the wonderful summer
with my sister, when I was really "in society" for a
few months, I was on the top of the wave in popu-
larity. In the small country town there was the
"Main Street" home crowd, and also the boys who
come to the dances from the larger towns nearby.
These outside boys were usually much in demand
by the girls. That winter, when these visiting boys
found that I knew the latest dances, I had more
than my share of attention. Unfortunately, my
"beau" did not dance because of a lameness he had.
He always took me to the dances, however, and I
"sat out" with him now and then. It was hard work,
as the other boys would come and beg me for a dance
and he would urge me to go, but I had accepted
him as my future husband (aged fourteen!) and,
although it had not been announced, I was firm in
my resolution to be faithful and devoted.
[6 3 ]
RIGHT in the midst of this solemn love
affair of mine, when I felt that I was doing
the one and only thing a girl should do:
have a beau, there came to me the first urge of sex
One of the older boys of the town who had been
away for some time, and whom I scarcely knew,
though I had heard the girls rave about him, came
home for a visit. It was said that at some time or
other every girl and woman in town had been in
love with him. He was handsome, sang divinely,
danced, skated, and did all these things perfectly.
His eyes were very enticing. He was taking sing-
ing lessons from my father, and I used to love listen-
ing to the music, while those lessons were going on.
I was one of the younger girls, and had received
no attention from him, other than an occasional
dance or as a skating partner, when he would com-
pliment me in my skill in both of these sports. He
was at this time, by the way, devoted to the girl
who had so attracted me in school.
One evening, we were at a party of some kind,
and I found myself watching him a great deal and
[6 4 ]
I often caught his naughty eyes, which seemed to
say things that I hardly understood. My regular
beau was not there that evening and when the time
for departure came, much to my surprise and to that
of everyone, my new admirer asked to "see me
home." I was really glad, and I think in some way
he must have gained the impression that I was drawn
to him that evening.
When he suggested a longer walk as the shorter
way home I was thrilled, and found I had fallen
completely under his charm or whatever it was, for
I made no remonstrances to any of his advances and
found that I not only felt a great thrill but wanted
all and even more than he gave me.
There came that psychological moment which
comes into every girl's life, when nothing under the
heavens could deter her impulse for sexual relief
unless she had been taught that it would come to
her and how to protect herself from giving way to
it. I was not satisfied, few women ever are. I was
left high and dry in a state of mad desire and
casually taken home to face the music. I was much
later than was expected and mother had sent father
out to look for me. Some one had seen us going
down a certain lane which was quite a rendezvous
for lovers, I later understood. My father met us as
we were returning and the young man was prompt-
ly dismissed and I was conducted home by father!
I realized later, as I failed to do then, that because
[6 5 ]
of my excited condition, which must have been
apparent and the reputation of the young man,
my parents must have known what had been going
on. Being too old for spanking, I was sent to bed,
with instruction that I was never again even to
speak to, let alone dance or skate with, that young
man again. The music lessons also ceased, and I
longed to tell my parents that the aflfair was all my
fault (as in most cases I argue that it is the fault of
the girl when she is "led astray"). But again I did
not dare, as I knew there was no understanding be-
tween us and, if I were to tell them that it was the
only time in my life that I had ever felt that im-
pulse, I knew they would not believe me. And I
would not have them believe it was my nature to
do such things.
This ended my friendship for that young man,
who treated me with great scorn thereafter. For-
tunately for me, there was never a return of that
madness for him or for anyone else — except once
in my life, long — long afterwards. Of this I will
I have had great respect for that young man, as
I realize now that he must have been very careful
not to run the risk of my becoming pregnant at that
time, for I was in just the mood for conception to
occur. He was, however, wise in such matters. It is
strange that there were so few girls who got into
"trouble" then, as so many do now. It would have
 ^ <»
become known then, as I am now sure, for there did
occur such cases at rare intervals, and I know that
intercourse was as common then as now.
There comes to my mind here an occurrence in
the small town adjoining the one where I am writ-
ing this book. In the high school there was a girl,
belonging to one of the very best families, who was
to graduate in a few months. She had a suitor of
whom her father did not approve. A short time ago
she was found to be in a family way, at the three
months' period. Her father was distracted and at
once went to the young business man who was re-
sponsible, and had him arrested and tried before all
the people who new both the man and the girl.
All of the details of their long association were laid
bare. One can imagine what effect this had on that
The father demanded that they should be mar-
ried at once — an end they had both long desired,
but which had been defeated by the objections of
the now irate parent. Too late the father realized
his sad mistake. His only daughter had no reputa-
tion left among the people of that town and the
young married people had to go to some far-away
place to begin their lives over again, with the stigma
placed upon them by the "doting" father. That man
has not much respect left for himself. There was
such a feeling of disgust for the way he handled the
case that there was whispering regarding tar and
[6 7 ]
feathers for the father. At this writing the feeling
has not died down, but the small town does not dare
take drastic measures to give the right man his due.
Now back to my own muttons. The following
winter I fell desperately in love with one of my
teachers, a woman. This great wave came over me
one day when I was standing at her desk. She had
one arm around me and, as she was pointing out
some problem on the paper on her desk, I noticed
the many little veins which showed over the
knuckles of her fingers, and I could see the pulse
beating there. I did not then understand that she
probably felt drawn to me sexually, and that the
impulse was coming to me through so strange a
medium as the veins of her fingers. I was fascinated
by her. I was frequently called to her recitation
room, and when the lesson which had been the
reason for my being called was disposed of, she
would pet me and hold me very tightly. I was
thrilled and lingered long in her embrace and en-
joyed her kisses hugely.
The sister of my brother-in-law, of whom I have
spoken as playing the piano so wonderfully, affected
me the same way and she was drawn to me also. She
would have me sleep with her and would kiss me
and hold me in her arms all night. I was always
I know now that this poor woman, a marvelous
musical genius, who later had to be taken to a sani-
tarium for mental disorders, was the victim of
sexual starvation. She was never married, nor did
she have affairs with men, as she was not physically
attractive. But one knew from her music the in-
tensity of her nature and, with no physical outlet for
these emotions, her life was wrecked. My emotions
never reached the sexual organs or the organs of
generation, which I always looked upon in the
greatest contempt, believing that they were only put
there to annoy girls and interfere periodically with
their pleasures. One day I found a medical book
hidden away in my mother's closet, and from it I
learned all about the methods of producing babies,
so that matter was at last somewhat cleared up in
my mind. Both the male and female organs were
pictured and I was disgusted with it all. I thought
it was a very nasty book to be found in my mother's
possession, and wondered why I should have been
so vigilantly spanked when any reference was made
to these organs and such knowledge was questioned,
when she harbored that book in her closet. She must
have been ashamed of it, too, to be so secret about it.
What a fine equipment for a healthy young girl
to have during the adolescence period !
During the coming winter, my sister in the city
was very ill. Her little boy baby was very fond of
me and she felt that it would be a great comfort to
have me come to be with him, as he was not very
happy with his nurse and missed his mother, who
was too ill to have him with her. So I was taken out
of school and sent to Boston, where I had never
visited them in their city home.
My sister's husband has always been most kind
to all of our family. He had plenty of money and
had often helped our family over rough places. He
and my sister did much for me when I visited them
during the summers of which I have spoken. I was
very fond of him, naturally, as I had been a pet of
his since I was a little girl.
I felt him a bit too ardent perhaps when we were
dancing, but, as I found all men the same, and be-
lieving it to be the thrill of the dance, I passed it
off lightly. Physically, I was never attracted by
him. In dancing with my "sweet girl" I would be-
come greatly aroused and could hardly restrain my
impulse to kiss her. That was to me the acme of
bliss, when those sensations occurred.
This visit to my sister was very different from
the ones I had made in the summer, in point of
gaieties. She was very ill and had trained nurses in
attendance. I was with the little son during his
waking hours, going with him and his nurse into
the park for his outings and playing with him, as I
loved to do, and he was very happy with me.
My room was on the parlor floor while the rest
of the family were on the floor above and the ser-
vants still above that. One night as my brother-in-
law was out for the evening I went to bed rather
early. I was awakened by his coming into the room
and up to my bed. He told me not to speak, as my
sister had just gone to sleep. He sat down by the
bed and talked, or rather whispered, about being so
lonely and worried, and of course I was very sym-
pathetic and tried to cheer him up. Soon I felt his
head on the bed as though he was crying and be-
fore I knew it he had pulled down the bedclothes
and was kissing my knees. I begged him to stop and
tried to cover myself up. He again warned me not
to make a noise as it would kill my sister if she knew
he were there. I was old enough to know that there
would be that result if, at the critical time in her
illness, she were to know of his being with me, so
I kept still while his kisses became more intense.
The sensation was so intense, I must have lost my
head entirely as I made no remonstrance to his fur-
ther advances. When he left me, I was filled with
horror and disgusted beyond compare. How I loathed
him for what I felt was taking such an unfair ad-
vantage of me, and for the utter lack of fidelity to
his poor sick wife. When I had a chance to talk
with him the next day, I was violent in my con-
demnation of his treatment and vowed, if he ever
attempted such a thing again, I would go straight
home and tell my mother about it.
Then came the old arguments which to me, alas!
were all too familar! He pictured the disgrace
which would come to both families, of the probable
killing of my sister coming at this critical time. If
not that, and if she believed me, which was doubt-
ful, he would say it was all a lie on my part, and
oh! it all seemed such a tangle! How I wished I
were dead ! Had I dared, I would have ended it all,
but I loved life and the thought of ending brought
terror to my soul. So I gave in and promised not to
make a fuss.
I finished my last year in the high school that
year. My boy lover had graduated and "gone west
young man" the summer before. Before he went,
we thought it would be wiser to tell our parents of
our wish to be really engaged. I was very much in
earnest when I told my mother of our love for each
other. She was, much to my surprise, very calm and
seemingly sympathetic and took the whole thing
seriously. For once, I was not punished — as I feared
I might be — for I had come to the point when I
had given up all hopes of ever being understood by
one who it seemed to me should always see my
point of view.
She said that perhaps it would be better to wait
for at least a year, as I was only fifteen, and then,
if we still felt the same way about it, we could talk
it over. We were to write every two weeks, and my
mother advised that the letters should be such that
all of our schoolmates could read, as they would
naturally be interested in the welfare of the youth.
This seemed reasonable. I will say that they were
little personal letters, always written in red ink,
which thrilled me as symbolic of "heart's blood."
So that was that. The letters kept up for two years
and I had the satisfaction of feeling that I was a
real girl because I had a lover! I never was in love
with him as I was with my "sweet girl."
The great question before the house now was my
future education. It seemed to be an established fact
that, as I had always stood high in my classes, I
might have a brain worthy of further development.
My father was not able to send me to college, so both
of my brothers-in-law offered to give me a college
course. I was to decide where it would be.
The one living in Boston argued for the institu-
tions in Massachusetts, as a Bostonian would, but I
felt the tuition fee which I might have to pay in
my proximity to that faction would be too great.
So much to the horror of all my Boston connections,
I chose the midwestern university where my other
brother-in-law was a professor. The sister whose
husband was located in the West was much older
than I, and I had always worshipped her. Her hus-
band was old enough to be my father, and I had
known him almost as long.
They were married when I was very young, and
I had always been a great pet of both of them. In
fact, Peter (we will call this brother-in-law) had
always called me "Babe."
I am the last one of all that large family left,
and it is with the conviction that no one will be hurt
by these revelations that I am making public record
of these experiences.
As my older sister had no children, I made that
point in my decision to go west. Again, I had no
love for girls as a class, and a women's college did
not appeal to me. Of course I did not dare give my
real reason for my decision.
It was decreed that I should have one more "gay"
summer with my sister at the seashore, before get-
ting down to the four year's grind in the "wild and
wooly" west. I tried to think up all sorts of excuses
for not going but, as my sister there wanted to see
about my outfit, I had to go. I was on my guard,
however, and did not allow any advances on the
part of that brother-in-law.
It was a wonderful summer, very gay, as usual.
I was quite a young lady by this time, and had much
The Governor of Massachusetts, whose country
estate enjoined that of my sister, had recently lost
his wife. His family were great friends of my
sister's, and he was at their home a great deal. This
summer, the Boston cadets were in camp not far
from these two homes, which made it still gayer for
the young ladies. There was to be a Governor's night
at the camp, and the question came up as to who
should accompany the Governor to the festivities
on that occasion. He jokingly, as I thought, said,
"Well, young lady, I think you will have to go
One can imagine my surprise and delight to be
chosen for that much coveted role. Yet there was
even then a fly in the ointment, as one of the cadets
who lived in the town had pleaded for my com-
pany, as soon as the official duties were over at the
However, I went with the Governor, and was
shown all the courtesies of the situation and was, of
course, proud indeed.
When all was over in the way of formality, I was
seized on by the young cadet, and we had a quiet
stroll. Meantime, the Governor's party was about
to leave, and I was nowhere to be found — much to
the consternation and dismay of my sister. They
went home without me, as someone had told them
with whom I was. Soon, the young cadet took me
home, and my sister met him with a very sharp
tongue. I had mine later. The Governor took it as
a joke and seemed to understand it thoroughly.
IN September began another chapter of my
inner history. I had never before been all night
on a train, and of course the trip west was of
great interest to me. Examinations were the first
things to think about. Accredited high schools were
not then in vogue, and I had to run the gamut,
which I did without any trouble, and came out
with flying colors — much to the joy of my sister
My sister was loved by everyone — young and old
— as was Peter, and their home was one of the
popular social centers, both in the university life
and in that of the two adjoining cities. With this
setting, added perhaps to certain qualities which
may have exerted an attraction, I at once became
popular and was whirled into college life with a
bang. Beaux galore, but I was still faithful to my
young lover who "went west." I told a few of my
girl friends, who were thrilled to know that I was
Tennis, horseback riding (side saddle), dancing,
"buggy riding," and so forth filled all of my free
time, and life was one glorious adventure after
another, and I was "on top of the wave." Studies did
not weigh heavily on my mind, as I learned quickly
and took them none too seriously.
I spoke of riding horseback on one of those awful
side saddles, which brings back to my mind some-
thing which should have come earlier into these
recordings. Back on the farm, we used to ride bare-
back, like wild Indians, and I was of the most
fearless. I owned my dear horse who would never
let another pass him. One day I had a long gallop,
bare-back, and suddenly experienced a tremendous
thrill which went through my whole being. I could
not understand how it came or why. Several times I
felt the same sensation when the ride was very long.
I remember that it was always felt that I had been
riding too long, as I was tired and quiet after such
rides. I now know that I had been aroused to the
point of orgasm. In later years, when in my dreams
I was riding horseback, I would experience the same
Let us now return to college where I was to
benefit by "higher education." Being in the family
of one of the faculty, I was naturally thrown more
with other young people similarly connected. The
president's daughter was a sophomore at the time I
entered, but kindly took me under her wing, so to
speak. She was a beautiful girl, clever in her studies
but awkward in her dancing, so she was not popular
with the boys. (This university was co-educational.)
She had a tempting mouth, and I was very much
drawn to her. No boy had ever made love to her,
and she seemed quite happy in my demonstrations
of affection. Her lips always reminded me of rose
I was still very fond of my "sweet girl," with
whom I still corresponded, as I did with my mas-
culine lover in the West. I can see now that I was
ever groping for the love that satisfied. Perhaps I
was wholly fickle. I am not trying to establish any
particular character, simply endeavoring to portray
the difficult problems which children and young
people have to meet, and how terribly handicapped
they are from lack of enlightenment early in life.
I am dealing with all of these sexual sensations,
as they came to me in as correct a sequence as I can
These "rose kisses" were often asked for and
often given, but at times withheld, which of course
made them doubly desirable. We would write many
ardent notes, as we were not free to be together as
much as we would have liked, being in different
classes and faithful to our studies.
This girl had a brother who was a devotee of my
sister's. He was the first suitor I had. Anything
verging on an alliance was promptly vetoed by our
families, as it would interfere with our futures! I
was never very serious with the boys, and I was
probably considered a flirt. They were useful, and
then there was a certain fascination in the feeling
that I attracted them, and was considered popular,
so I dangled them all about and each one filled some
place in my program for pleasure, but this was not
of a sexual character. When they became too ardent,
I was through with them.
My brother-in-law, Peter, had, in addition to his
teaching, charge of the great library. All the new
books had to be catalogued, leaves cut, and so forth,
before they were ready for the shelves. I was al-
ways glad to assist him with this work and so re-
lieve my sister, as she often helped to fix up the
books, as did many other students who had free time
and the inclination to be of service.
This work was done in a private room which was
always kept locked when the work was going on,
as well as at other times. Going to this room with
Peter, and being locked in there with him, never
attracted any attention, for this was the custom
when anyone was helping him.
One day while we were working he grabbed my
hands and told me how he had grown to love me,
not as a father ("Papee" as I had always called
him). I treated this as a joke and answered him in
It was a standing joke in the university, among
all of our intimate friends, that sooner or later every
girl or woman connected with the college fell in
love with Peter. I believe this was true, and his
final downfall may be attributed to this faculty of
"charming" so many. I reminded him of this saying
among our friends, said he could count me out of
this category, and tried to make him go on with the
work. I was going to leave the room, but it was
locked, and he had the key. I found he was de-
termined to make love to me, as he called it, and I
was equally determined that he should not. We
tussled, but he was a giant in strength. He warned
me not to make a disturbance, and then came the
awful arguments which unfortunately were too
familiar to me !
My sister adored him, as I did her. Could I
break her heart and make the man give up his
work? Wheels within wheels ! He protested that he
loved my sister better than his life but that he was
sexually starved, as she did not care for the usual
intercourse. I've often wondered whether her nature
might have been like mine. I realize that she had
very close girl and women friends all her life.
However, I yielded, again, as I thought, to keep
peace in the family and to save all from battle and
sudden death ! How I wished that I could experience
some pleasure in that awful contact which I seemed
fated to endure. The first of my first year in college !
How I hated myself by this time. I felt that I was
nothing but a low animal, and might well have been
a prostitute. I just didn't care much what happened.
No animal spirits went into this phase. I evaded
the opportunities as often as I could, but when it
was inevitable, I simply became an unwilling piece
of furniture. I was, however, able to forget that
role, and entered with enthusiasm into my studies
and the gaieties conneccted with college life. I always
took, or was being given, active parts in organization
work, and was looked upon as a model student. No
one ever knew the tuition I was called upon to pay.
As I had such a horror of the sexual life I was
forced to lead, I was comforted by the knowledge
that it was not my real self, and my real self did
enjoy the normal happy life which was before me.
I did enjoy it in spite of the black pages.
The side of my nature which called for a female
mate worried me, as I thought that I was the only
girl with such a nature. But that side was very
The rose leaf lipped girl passed out of my life.
That attachment was catalogued as purely senti-
mental. The break came as a result of her family
being disinclined to have the younger son, who was
very persistent in his devotions, become entangled
in any matrimonial venture. The president and I
clashed when I flatly refused the attentions of an
older son who was teaching in the University. In
fact, the old man himself has been over-ardent at
times, and had to be placed where he belonged.
Years and years afterwards, I met this mighty
president at the Pan-American exposition, as he was
sneaking out of a dance hall where a Nautch dance
was advertised. He was greatly embarrassed and
greeted me too affably. I had the opportunity of
glancing at the sign over his head and, with rather
a sneering glance, I let his extended hand fall
limply to his side without contact with mine.
My next girl friend was very musical. She sang
and played very well, and this attracted me. Her
mother had passed on and my sister was a sort of
mother to her, so that she was much at our house.
Peter did not seem to favor this friendship, which
was explained later when I found he had been mak-
ing love to her himself, and that she was much in
love with him. This discovery was not made until
long after she and I had been parted.
In my second year I became interested in a boy
in my class who came from a fine family and was
accepted by my sister as a desirable companion,
although Peter never approved of anyone who
began to show me marked attention.
This fellow was good looking, a wonderful dan-
cer, and did give the "sweetest kisses," as the girl
of whom I have just spoken told me. She evidently
had tried many: In my junior year I did become
engaged to him. I was not in love and never felt
drawn to him other than for the reasons which I
have described. I was becoming more and more
worried because I was not like other girls, so I felt
that I had better get married as soon as my school
days were over, and become normal, as it was sup-
posed that a girl who had sweethearts and wanted to
be married was wholly normal.
My interest in girls persisted, however, and I
could not get up much enthusiasm over the mar-
To go back a bit. There was a girl in my class
who seemed to be trying to win my favor. I did not
care for this at all, as I preferred to be the one to
woo when I became attracted to a girl. One time I
accepted her invitation to stay all night with her.
We were going to a ball, and it seemed a natural
and a convenient thing to do.
When we went to bed, she was in a very affec-
tionate state of mind and wanted me to kiss her. I
did not want to, as I was not atracted to her in the
least. She said that dancing always made her crazy
for demonstrations of some sort.
In my sessions of lovemaking with the girl whose
company had been forbidden to me, I realize now
that she at times experienced the climactic relief for
her sexual desire, but even then the sensations which
I have described as being at the tip of my breast
bone was what I felt must have been the same as
her feelings, only that I was better able to control
my expressions of bliss.
My summers at home were full of gaiety and I
was able to keep brother-in-law at his distance. He
was now dancing about with various and sundry
[8 3 ]
females, quite openly, and much to the sorrow of
my sister, who finally had to divorce him, though
happily not through my offices. I had made up my
mind, however, that if it were necessary, I would go
on the stand to testify as to his infidelity. This, of
course was years after the time of which I am
[8 4 ]
THE second year in college brought into my
life probably the most astonishing expe-
rience that ever a girl went through. My
earlier experiences I know that all girls — or rather
many — have had, their denials notwithstanding.
With the opening of the fall term and my junior
year, came a new professor and his wife from an
eastern city. As our family was the only one from
that part of the world, we were among the first to
become acquainted, and soon became fast friends.
These people had no children, and they seemed to
like me, so I was at their house a great deal when
through with my studies, staying often for dinner
and the evening, when my sister and Peter would
come for me and for a visit. I felt a great attraction
for the wife, whom we will call Flo, as she is to
figure largely in my life from this point onward. I
had not yet become entangled with the youth who
danced and kissed so well, and I found that my
affections were turning Flo-ward very rapidly.
Being of a naturally affectionate and demonstrative
disposition, a trait coming to me directly from my
father (whom I have always been said to resemble
[8 5 ]
in many characteristics), I began very timidly to
show my increasing love for Mrs. Flo. She seemed
to return my fondness, and I proceeded to make love
in the accepted way of sending flowers, and doing
little things to please her. I was in fact, quite
Peter was also making a definite impression on
Flo. Both the Professor and Flo loved my sister, as
did everyone. We were all together at one home or
the other nearly every night for dinner, cards, or
just to chat or go to some function connected with
the college or to the theater.
Soon I was expected as a regular dinner guest
every Thursday night, and to spend the night. Then
began the little visits to my room by Flo after I was
in bed, when some very tender moments of love
were experienced. Little kisses and big kisses and
finally she would leave me to go to her own bed and
husband, whom I am sure she adored, as he did her.
I would be left with a longing for her that I could
Now do not raise your eyebrows, O, pious one,
and close this book with the worn-out phrase, "I
never heard of such things." It was but yesterday
that I took a popular best-seller from the private
library here in this little town and, before taking
it, I glanced at the list of the readers who had the book
before me, and there were the names of all your
daughters. Boys don't bother to read about what
they get at first hand. In the novel, I read of all the
things of which I am writing, but of course couched
in terms so glossed over that the prudish censor
prefers to read it rather than cast it aside.
I am telling the plain truth of things which so
many know about, from babyhood almost to the
grave, but dare not admit that such things exist.
Despise me if you will, but let the sacrifice I am
making have its desired affect, to make you think
and acknowledge the sins of your past, and try to
help the unborn babe and the many children who
today are bearing children without the benefit of
During the next summer, my sister and Peter
stayed in the West, but I went home as usual. Flo
and the Professor visited me there. I had not seen
her for so long, one may realize the joy at our
meeting. My mother seemed to notice my unusual
excitement, especially when we would return from
a long walk or drive. I could see that she was watch-
ing things very carefully and was getting rather
worried. Soon mother had a talk with me, and said
she felt that I was too interested in the Professor
and thought that the visit should come to an end. I
protested that I was not in love with him. I ac-
knowledged that it was Flo of whom I was fond,
but mother said she knew better, and it must stop.
The only way she could accomplish this was for
mother to go to bed, and pretend to be so ill that she
[8 7 ]
would have to ask them to bring their visit to a close.
I told Flo what the reason was, but we thought it
best for them to go. After a while Flo wrote to
mother, assuring her that the attachment was be-
tween us and that the Professor was not in my mind
in the least, and that she hoped that my mother
would believe all was well. Whatever mother
thought I never knew, for she was a woman of few
words. The matter was then dropped.
That summer, the young lover appeared at my
home for a visit and to go through the family in-
spection as a candidate for my heart and hand. He
was approved and the engagement was announced,
with the usual festivities. He was obliged to return
west before I did, so I soon followed alone. I felt
that I was quite "in love" and had the proper feel-
ings for this swain, yet deep in my heart it was the
feeling that I was to be again with Flo that made
me happy to go back. I was rather lonely on that,
my first long trip alone, and imagine my surprise
and sincere delight to have my lover walk into the
train the last evening of the trip. He had traveled
a day and a night to meet me at a point where there
was a long wait. He brought me flowers and candy,
and did and said all the dear things that a well-
trained lover should do. He was really fond of me.
I felt that I was doing the thing that was expected
of me, and so I was quite content.
How he begged me to get oft" at a large city we
were approaching, and be married then and there
and have it all over! I was sorely tempted to do so,
but when I thought of the disappointment of my
family, who had looked for such great results from
my course in college, I simply could not do it.
Afterwards I wished that I had done as he
desired. We sat together in our intimate conversa-
tion long after everyone else had retired and finally
we decided to do likewise. We noted that there was
no one in the berth above mine, much to my joy.
In a very short time, what did that youth do but
come to my berth, part the curtains and tell me not
to speak. He then got in and held me tightly in his
arms and pleaded with me to consummate our mar-
riage. He said that we were really married in the
sight of God, and what mattered anything else.
Well, why not? There was the "trial marriage"
plan, even away back so many years. So that was
to be marriage! After that night all the illusions
had vanished. I had believed that a real marriage
would bring about different results, and at least
different sensations, but alas! I knew then that I
could never bring myself to the point of really
Of course he went to his own berth before morn-
ing. We both got up rather early and had breakfast,
and were sitting and talking very properly, when
who should walk in but Peter! Rather crestfallen,
I thought, to find the youth there before him.
[8 9 ]
That was a funny day's journey. The two of
them siting there, hating each other, and I hating
them both. My lover had thought that I would that
day finally accede to his wishes, and get off the
train somewhere, and have the ceremony performed.
Peter probably thought he would be able to have a
little seance of his own, but instead both simply
glared all day.
My thoughts were all with Flo and the hours
seemed to drag more and more. But at last we
arrived, and many friends were there to meet me.
I had to bide my time before breaking the en-
gagement, as I did not seem to have any good excuse.
At last I found one, and that chapter was ended,
apparently much to the sorrow of the youth. I was
sorry, for he left the university, as I did not want
to break up his career. But he afterwards married
and lived happily ever after.
When it was found that I was free, suitors were
numerous. I would have none of them, except as
escorts to the many functions at which they were
necessary adjuncts. I was happy in my love for Flo,
happy in that I made her happy, because I knew
for myself no greater happiness that that.
I THINK it shows that my real interest was not
in the matters sexual of which I have written,
in that I really had a glorious time during my
years in college. I did my studying conscientiously
and had high marks. I entered into all of the col-
lege activities with enthusiasm — excepting one. I
would never join any sorority. I received urgent
invitations, but for some reason I did not care to
affiliate with a group of women. I have adhered to
that determination all through life. I was eligible
to many of the national organizations for women,
but they did not appeal to me. How glad I have
often been when I have read of the absurd fights
going on in many of these societies. I have affiliated
with men's organizations, when women were eli-
gible, and have enjoyed working with men in busi-
ness. I have been treated as "man to man" and have
met them in that spirit.
Before the end of my last year, Flo went to her
home in the East, as she was expecting the arrival
of a baby. They had lost a baby girl and were so
happy in the new expectation. I was left "in charge"
of the Professor.
I used to look about me and wonder. There we
were, all in what would be termed "the highest
class of society," respected and loved by all. Yet
think of the things which were going on! I believe
that similar affairs were in vogue among others
of our set, but others were as secret as we, and as
everyone is, for that is one subject that is never
discused with a third party. These things will go
on until there is some drastic re-arrangements of
the sex regime.
People are now daring to talk about birth control,
and important provisions are being made for the
execution of such methods. This is most encourag-
ing and is a great step, but to my mind it is not
really solving an important problem. It is rather like
a medicine to allay pain which does not get at the
root of the evil and exterminate the cause of that
pain. There is no suffering comparable to unsatisfied
sex desire, nor any condition which brings about
such dire results. Scientists will some day come to
the point of searching for a way to meet this disease
and will then have made for the human race a real
advance, morally, physically, and mentally.
Up to this time, I felt that I was the only girl
who had the sex desire for woman, rather than the
accepted one for men. I thought perhaps the awful
experiences that I had endured at the hands of men
were in a way responsible for that impulse. I now
believe that urge to be just as normal for some as is
the contrary for others. The pride of the male has
had much to do with keeping this phase of nature
under the ban as undesirable. The time is coming
when man's love for man and woman's love for
woman will be studied and understood as it never
has been in the past. Books touching on this subject
will not be censored. Women will be too anxious to
co-operate with their daughters in the understand-
ing of matters which have baffled them all their lives
and led them into untold complications, matrimonial
When I returned home after having made what
was considered a very satisfactory showing in college,
the question came "What next?"
Art would have been my choice, and the oppor-
tunity opened if I were to go to be with my sister
in Boston and there get the best of instruction.
But I knew what that would mean. I simply shud-
dered at the thought of again going through any of
those experiences. At home I felt so free and safe,
as our home had been moved where all former
relations were severed. My parents urged me to
stay with them for a year at least, so I accepted a
call to teach in a little New England school, near
I may or may not have mentioned that I was born
under the zodiacal sign of Gemini, the twins, and
had thereby, according to astrologers, a dual nature.
At this time the feminine side of my nature was
asserting itself strongly. I felt a very real desire for
children. Being in this school perhaps encouraged
this feeling, or perhaps the phase through which I
was passing made my efforts there a great success.
It became the "show school" of the town.
I was now twenty years old, and of course knew
that I must be married, if I were to fulfill my desire
for a family. Much as I hated the thought of the
processes which I would have to endure in order to
attain my goal, I did that year yield to the advances
of a man twelve years my senior. His family were
lifelong friends of my parents and, as there would
be a possibility of my remaining near them, the
match was looked upon with favor. Not so, how-
ever, with my sisters, who had known of much more
advantageous alliances, both from a financial as
well as from a social point of view, which were
available. I had had quite a taste of high society
and, in a way, it did not seem to appeal to me.
However, as I felt that I could never love any man,
and as I had to marry one in order to have the de-
sired children, it might as well be one who would
perhaps prove a clean and good father.
With the close of my college career had ended the
chapter of Flo and the Professor. Their baby boy
had arrived, and her attention was wholly centered
about him. As our lives fell far apart, the flame just
naturally flickered out, though we always remained
friends. We came together now and then, but there
was no resumption of our former relations, as our
minds were otherwise occupied.
My marriage was the next event in the drama in
which I was playing. I went through the prepara-
tions and the ceremony with the conventional en-
thusiasm. The honeymoon, as such, was a night-
mare. I did my duty as a virtuous young girl, and I
am sure I convinced my husband of my chastity. So
began the unfortunate life of deceit, in order to
cover up the nightmare of my own life, which I
felt to be utterly wrong and worthy to be despised.
The usual disgust accompanied each recurrence of
relations which I became more and more convinced
had been invented solely for men's convenience and
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I soon found that friend husband was not anxious
to assume the responsibilities of fatherhood. Much
to my horror, he took great care lest any accidents
should happen. Things went on in this way for
some time, when we had a serious talk on marriage.
I did not exactly say, "What do you suppose I mar-
ried for?" but I did argue that the consummation
of the ideal marriage should be the coming of
children. I reminded him that unless children were
forthcoming his pleasures and mine (supposing it
were a pleasure) could be bought and sold on the
w "Jr tv"
However, the unexpected and longed-for hap-
pened, and I became pregnant. I believe that for the
first time in my life, I felt secure and normal. My
husband began to worry about the coming expenses,
as he really had no need to, for he had a good salary
and we lived at his father's home. However, this
There was a teaching vacany in the next town,
but under the supervision of the school board in
control of the little district school in which I taught
the year before. I was asked to fill this vacancy for a
few weeks, and accepted. My bad feelings came
early in the morning, and I was quite fit the rest of
the day. I was glad to be earning the money, as was
I was obliged to get up about six o'clock in the
morning, in January, before it was light, and be
driven in an open sleigh about three miles to the
railroad station, suffering with intense nausea all
the way. I had had no breakfast. A trip of twenty
minutes on the cars was about the last straw, but
I lived through that and, after quite a long walk to
the hotel, I was ready for a light breakfast. The
walk to the school then found me quite ready for
the duties of the day. I had charge of the primary
department, and loved the work. I had a cold lunch
at school, and again the walk and the train and
sleigh ride brought me home after dark, with the
thermometer often away down below zero. All this
for eleven dollars a week, which was considered good
pay at that time.
I was happy in doing even so little to meet the
coming expenses and so relieve the worries of my
spouse. It afforded a wonderful opportunity for
working off my surplus energy and such a good
excuse for begging off from sexual intercourse,
which did less than interest me now that the only
reason for tolerance was no longer effective. I con-
tinued teaching until the close of the year in June,
and really felt that I had paid for the coming event.
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In the large family of my husband's parents there
was a young girl cousin and her widowed mother.
The girl was three years younger than I. She was
attractive and very musical. She often played to me
and this would seem to soothe me, yet it always
stirred me deeply. We will call this girl Gladys.
She, as well as the whole family, was devoted to me.
In fact, I was quite spoiled by them all. Gladys was
small and had always been a pet of the whole fam-
ily. She would always prefer to cuddle in some one's
lap rather than sit in a chair. One day, after playing
for me, she came and snuggled down in my lap in a
great "comfy" chair. She was a very kissable young-
ster. Beautiful, reddish hair which curled in die
most fascinating little tight ringlets all about her
face and neck. Her skin, so soft and pink, was a
great temptation. I felt the impulse to caress her,
and did. We were both thrilled, but all that this was
for me was the thrill I got from her throbbing pulse,
in her ecstasy. Here was an outlet in a way, at least,
for that terrible suppressed emotion which was so
new to me, and which was never satisfied by relations
with my husband.
My marriage was to me another means to an
end. I was at last, to all appearances, normal, and I
was going to have a baby. I had never had any idea
of responsibilities to the unborn. I simply visualized
the babe in my arms as mine, and this represented
the fulfillment of my desire.
Gladys became madly in love with me, and the
seeming obsession was laughed at by all the family,
who always treated it as a huge joke. There had
never come into the lives of these simple country
people, whose contact with life has been very lim-
ited, anything resembling such an affection. They
were quite incapable of comprehending many of life's
The large rambling house was on a lovely spot
on a large farm, with the Connecticut River flowing
through it, and a little lake near the house. In the
summer, it was opened to boarders from the cities.
My husband had changed the location of his busi-
ness, and it was diought best for me to stay at home
for the summer, he being away through the week,
and coming home for Sundays.
When I was no longer able to take an active
part in the work of the farm, which I never slighted
as long as I was able, I went to my mother's home
for a few months to await coming events. I was
happy mentally, but physically always hungry for
that something which was lacking, and of which I
knew nothing from personal experience. I could
but imagine it from the emotions which I had ob-
served in others. I must be wrong some way, for I
was not like the others. Yet why that unendurable
Gladys spent much time with me during those
last months. She had little use for the city visitors
and she had her music to consider first, which was
much more important, to her mind. Then, she
wanted to be with me. I could hardly wait for the
coming of that baby. I thought that all of the
physical symptoms which I was enduring would
then vanish. At times I would go nearly mad, when
the strain of that longing for sexual relief could not
be relieved. How well I understood in after years
why our insane asylums were full of women who
were there because of this very reason: sexual passion
One night when Gladys stayed with me, she had
her desired relief and we both made strenuous
efforts to bring about the same result for me. But to
no avail. I was simply mad with desire, and writhed
and threw myself about in my agony. In the morn-
ing, labor pains began. The nurse and doctor were
brought in and I was in ecstasy in the belief that
things were really under way. I did every little
thing which the nurse, the doctor, and my mother
advised, to help things along, never flinching at the
terrible pains which recurred every five minutes, with
I sang and joked and fairly shouted with joy as
each agonizing period came. My husband arrived
about six o'clock, scared to death. I had to keep him
cheered up, as there seemed to have been very little
progress made during the day. Night came and
went, with the same program. Pains even more and
more severe, but nothing happened. My strength
kept up wonderfully, so they said. I was very tired
and did get a few winks of sleep between pains
which still came at five minute intervals. Sunday
night and still no baby. By Monday morning my
vitality was about exhusted, and another old
country doctor was called in for consultation, which
was held with my poor mother sitting in — she who
had been through that ordeal nine times with no com-
I afterwards learned that they wished to take the
child in segments, but as there was still life in the
little body, my mother would not consent to that. I
was given chloroform and went blessedly to sleep,
while the child was taken with instruments.
I knew when I came out of the anesthetic that I
had no baby. I feebly asked that the body be brought
[ioo] . ._
to me. This wish was granted, and time will never
erase the bliss I felt while that little body was lying
close to mine during that short minute. They took
it away with the promise that I could have it again
when I had rested — a promise they did not fulfill.
Some will say, "It was all her own fault. She
had been wickedly breaking the laws of nature."
That may be. Others may know that the laws of
nature and the force of sexual desire, ignored by
preceding generations bound by the tradition of
secrecy, were left to wreak their overwhelming
power on the unsuspecting and ignorant children of
my day — as they are still doing today.
With the memory of those precious moments still
fresh within me, would it be supposed that I would
thus reveal all these innermost secrets of my life,
were it not with the thought that by so doing I might
be able to help some to an understanding of what
our young people are facing in the way of sexual
My life was in the balance for days, but the
return to health came in due time. The usual stereo-
typed condolences were poured in my ears and I was
told by the long-faced, pious females that "it was
God's will." The result was that I not only hated
that kind of a God, but I felt for a time that I hated
everyone, while it was really myself that I hated.
When they said, as I have since heard many say
under similar circumstances, that "it was better than
if the baby had lived," I wanted to scream. Usually,
that statement would come from an old maid or
from the mother of many children, who was so
occupied with the live children in her arms and
squealing all about her, that she gave little thought
to the little unborn one who was such a vital part
of her very life for those few wonderful months.
While I was some of the time consumed with
that fearful unsatisfied desire during the months
prior to my confinement, I had many hours of pure
delight with that little lively being inside of me,
as it grew and waxed strong. At night I would sing
or pat it to sleep with the same tenderness as a mother
with her baby in her arms.
Had I been as wise at that time as I was in after
years, how different things would have been. Yet
I have always felt glad that, in my ignorance, I had
no children, for I did not know of the responsibili-
ties of the parent to the unborn. This is where I want
to reach mothers and prospective mothers — reach
them with real facts and not with theories which
make so little impression.
In discussing some of my conclusions with a
woman of my own age, who is well known in both
social and literary circles, she held up her hands in
holy horror and said, "Oh! do not take away from
the youth of today the beautiful glamor of love!"
She has a daughter who, at a very early age, eloped
with their chauffeur. Later she confessed to me,
although she had been married three times (No. i
had died, No. 2 was divorced, and with No. 3 she
had not lived since her children were very small)
she had never been able to live without a man since
she was seventeen years old ! Yet she wished to keep
"the glamor of love" intact for the youth of today!
I smile, yes, and lament with the youth of today,
in wondering what "glamor" is left for them with
the forebears they have had. Do we think we are
fooling these wise children of today?
THE year following my great disappoint-
ment was one of even worse torture. I
was again anxious to become pregnant
and was met with an equal determination on the
part of my husband that I should not be. After each
session of the act which was so abhorent to me, I
was left in tears. I really did long for a child, in
spite of all that I had gone through. I had, of
course, no idea why things were so upset, or that I
had any great responsibilities in the matter other
than to have the baby and then take care of it. No
pleas of mine had any effect. I felt that it was be-
cause of the great expense connected with my
confinement that he objected to another trial. As I
have said, I realize that I did not have the love for
him that I should have had to marry him, but I
married to obtain a father for my children. It was
becoming harder and harder for me even to tolerate
him. My young cousin, Gladys, was still very de-
voted to me, but we often wondered whether we had
anything to do with the sad ending to my hopes.
It was thought best for me to be at the boarding
house the following summer, as there would be
more to occupy my mind, than to go to the place
where my husband was to start a home. I was very
glad of this arrangement, for when I was alone I
was sad. My favorite sister, Peter's wife, died soon
after I was married, with a broken heart, I always
thought, as I am sure she felt her husband was not
true to her, though she never suspected the part I
had had to play. She was sad to have me marry, as
she wanted me to be always with her. We were very
close in our understanding of each other, though little
of an intimate character was ever said.
I was glad for the busy life during the summer
at the farm. I did much of the entertaining of the
guests, and entered into all of the gaieties with my
usual vigor and enthusiasm. I made some very de-
lightful acquaintances among them. They were of
a class with whom I felt more at ease than with the
simpler country folk, though I tried hard not to
show it. I attended to the correspondence of the
house. As a sequel to rather an extended correspon-
dence with one lady, going into all details, it was
arranged that she was to arrive on a certain date,
with three small boys and a French maid.
I introduced myself on the stairs, as she was being
shown to her rooms. We looked at each other hard,
and I could detect a certain wonderment in her eyes,
which, by the way, were beautiful indeed.
She afterwards told me she could not picture me
in that atmosphere. Many times I wondered myself
[io 5 ]
how I came to be there. But I was playing the game
without flinching, and no one knew.
Mrs. Barr-Jones, as we will call her, well known
in New York society and in musical and dramatic
circles, and I became very good friends, as we
realized there was a social bond at least and then,
too, there seemed to be an immediate personal
Peter had returned East for the summer and was
making a long visit at the home of my parents, a
sad visit for all, it would seem. He came to see me
often, but I was usually too busy for any extended
visits and I managed that there should not be any.
The old suggestions were made as to the resumption
of former relations, but at last I was able to put him
where he belonged, and in no gentle manner did I
let him see how I despised him for the role to which
he had subjected me. Gladys had no love for the
activities of the house, so had much leisure on her
hands, and was only too glad to go for walks and
drives with Peter. I did warn her that he was an
awful flirt and that she should be on her guard, but
I could not go into details. She promptly fell in love
with him, as so many poor females had before.
Mrs. Barr-Jones (the mother of three adorable
boys, two still in dresses, and all of whom love me
to this day) and I had much in common, in our love
for music. While her voice was waning, she still
sang with great charm. She was one of the first
society girls in New York to make the startling
plunge from a most exclusive set and land on the
stage, under one of the leading managers of the city.
We immediately began planning a play, to be
given in the great barn for some special occasion.
When she found that I had had some experience in
private theatricals, she at once insisted that I should
take the male lead, opposite to her. I felt absolutely
natural in that role and, even during rehearsals, I
felt her yielding more and more to my advances. It
became more natural as I, too, felt a great attraction
We sent to the city for necessary wigs and cos-
tumes as there was not a single dress suit in the
whole town. The final performance was given be-
fore a crowded barn, as all of the townspeople were
invited, and we made a great hit. It was really a
finished performance, as perhaps I shouldn't say.
My conquest of Mrs. B.-J. was complete. Without
pressing my suit further she was quite willing — in
fact, urged a bit of love making in our own roles.
There was a ball in the large parlors of the house
after the play, and all the summer girls and the
winter ones, too, begged me to keep on my costume
of the play. I danced well and always loved to lead,
so I was besieged by all the girls. I had a vivid ex-
hibition of what I afterwards learned many an
attractive fellow had to go through to defend
himself against the onslaught of a bevy of amorous
girls. They stopped at nothing and made confessions
to me that night that amazed me.
I did not care to be wooed, still preferring to be
one to do the capturing. Mrs. Barr-Jones was the
favored one, yet I had to be ever on the alert that
no one should suspect the attachment. We managed
to have our little love times (and is there any one
who cannot so manage?) when she would be en-
tranced, and I would be left high and dry, as usual.
The summer passed and she left, after making me
promise that I would visit her during the winter.
That was a mad summer, as I was just trying to
hide my grief, for I did suffer the keenest sorrow
away down inside of me. What I seemed obliged to
face looked all so black. My pleadings with my
husband still kept on, but with the same results.
He had his satisfaction with painful regularity,
however, as it "was necessary for a man to have
such relief!" I turn to stone whenever I hear that
inane remark, as I do so often ! As though a man or
a boy needed that outlet for their excessive or
normal vitality any more than, or in some cases half
as much as, a girl or a woman. Yet society decrees
that so it is, and so it is accepted, whether by paying
for it in the open mart before marriage or demand-
ing it after marriage.
I am basing these opinions on the confessions of
many women who have been through the same ex-
perience with their husbands as I had had.
I prevailed upon my husband to give his consent to
my going to New York for the visit with Mrs. B.-J.
He was so thrilled with my success as an actress,
he said he was afraid Mrs. B.-J. would persuade me
to go on the stage. I was not only glad to be with my
lady again, but was especially happy to be free from
all matrimonial ties. I was discouraged and reckless,
and entered into the gay life of the opera, music,
stage, and society with my old enthusiasm, regard-
less of what was going on in my inner consciousness.
I had come to believe that nothing was ever going
to make me like other women, and I did not care.
Flo, the Professor and the small son lived in
Brooklyn and, as they knew I was in New York, I
was invited to dine with them and it was arranged
that the Professor would take me back to my friends,
as I did not know much about the big city.
It had been many months since we had met, and
of course the first thing to be done was to admire
the bouncing baby boy. He was a fine chap with a
I believe all of our thoughts went back to the
months before that boy was born, wondering wheth-
er there might develop some propensities resultant
from those proceedings, but no reference was made
to this subject. When dinner was announced the
baby was given over to the nurse, having been kept
up for my benefit. My thoughts centered on my
own loss with renewed bitterness, but I was always
able to keep my feelings under control. We dined
and wined and talked of various things.
I recall some very fine sherry served with one of
the courses and we all smiled when we remembered
that Flo had once said that sherry stirred her
sexually as no other wine did. I was gay and, at the
same time, became more and more rebellious. . .
Both the Professor and I were in a dangerous mood
when we left for New York, and I imagine the lady
knew it and did not care.
It was suggested that we stop on the way home
at a remote little hotel, which the Professor seemed
to know quite well as being one where no questions
would be asked. I think I rather demurred, but then
it flashed across my mind that I would throw dis-
cretion to the winds and endure the moment in the
hope that perhaps there might be a chance of
becoming pregnant. We stopped, and my whole
hope for the future lay in the next hours, as I
tp tp w Hv
I went home shortly and, in my pretended joy at
being back again, I quite overcame my husband's
precaution and began joyously to predict that I knew
the result of that one session would be the creation
of the longed-for child. Much to his horror, it
These disclosures are to show to what lengths one
will go in the desire for a child, and to have a lasting
excuse for marriage. It will be seen that the ideal
was not reached but, to a mind ignorant on sex prob-
lems, it seemed the best way to force an issue.
I was far from well all through the period of
pregnancy and my husband became more and more
disgusted because I had arrived at that condition. I
could see that we were growing farther and farther
apart, but I did sincerely hope that, with the coming
of this baby, I would be able to become a faithful
and normal wife and mother.
I will always feel that it was through the bung-
ling of a doctor, who became very drunk before the
delivery of this child, that the little one was not
living, after a long and terrible period of labor.
Many will say that it was God's will. Of course I
now feel it was better that the result of my madness
was as it was.
This time, however, my mind nearly went with
the life of the child. If I ever had any love, as I pre-
tended to have for my husband, I now knew it was
over and that I could never take up that life again.
It had all been an awful mess from the beginning.
I simply refused to stay with the man who should
have bought his pleasures and hired a housekeeper.
I stayed with my mother for a while under our
doctor's care. They both thought that I should go
away for a while, so I went to Mrs. Barr- Jones, who
was very sympathetic. Being with her little boys
seemed to ease my aching heart. The doctors in the
country decreed that I must never try to have
another child and, as the thought of being a legi-
timatized prostitute the rest of my life did not ap-
peal to me, I never went back to my husband.
I found I was in need of expert medical attention,
as I was left in a deplorable condition by the bung-
lers in the country. There had been terrible lacera-
tions after the first confinement and worse after the
second, so I was under treatment all winter. Mrs.
B.-J. was anxious to have me stay with her, so to
ease my mind, she let me teach her little boys.
When her friends saw the methods I was using with
these boys, they wanted me to take their children,
so I was soon conducting a real little private school
along public school lines.
An account of this school appeared one day in the
Evening Sun, written by a woman who had visited
me and had seen the success of my original ideas.
Mrs. B.-J. and I enjoyed our life together, but
I was still groping for the real soul mate who I
always felt was waiting somewhere for me — some
one with whom I could experience a oneness which
had been my ideal.
The affair with the Professor, which I have de-
scribed, did not further attract me. Beyond having
accomplished the thing for which I lent myself so
recklessly, contact with a man had nothing but repul-
sion for me.
I enjoyed much during these months with these
friends. Theirs was another musical atmosphere,
such as I had so enjoyed in our home during my
childhood, only on a much more classical plane.
I was introduced to music of which I had never
dreamed, and famous musicians would gather for
the most wonderful evenings. Mr. Barr-Jones was a
genius. He had a most finished gift at the piano.
With little technique, he was always chosen to
accompany the greatest artists. He simply lived the
atmosphere of the singer and the song and a perfect
ONE family who had been guests at the
summer home of my husband's family
lived in New York. They were all fond of
me and I liked them well. A young daughter, who
was one of my admirers but for whom I had none
other than a friendly feeling, was at this time in very
poor health. Her family were much worried and,
in their perplexity, they talked with me about her.
She had no appetite and was growing thin.
One time I was asked to stay for the night, as
they were to have some kind of a party that evening.
I did so and occupied a room with the daughter.
Much to my surprise she began to make love to
me violently, a thing that was never even hinted at
before. I have spoken of my attitude towards one
who assumed the role of the "wooer" and I felt a
great repulsion towards this attack.
In her excitement she went into ecstasies about
the sensations she was able to experience by herself.
This was something new to me, so I became an
interested listener, as I thought I might perhaps
find out something about her indisposition, which
was so worrying her parents. Soon she had confided
in me completely. I was worried and said all I could
to dissuade her from going on with the practices
to which she had confessed as her health would en-
tirely give way, and tried to make her see that she
was worrying her parents nearly to death. She was
an only child and had been "Oh! so carefully
brought up." Of course this was a subject they never
could with propriety discuss with a child!
After my visit ended, I decided to see the doctor
of that family, and have a frank talk with him. He
was a very old friend of the family and I had met
him socially at their home.
I went to him and told him what I had discovered
and begged to try to stop it, thinking of course he
would be only too thankful to me for discovering
the trouble which had seemed to baffle even him in
his conduct of the case.
Much to my amazement he arose in mighty in-
dignation that I should even suggest such a thing.
He was furthermore insulting in his insinuations,
that I was either inventing the occurrence or that I
was responsible for the enlightenment of the girl.
He ordered me out of his office, and said he would
go to the parents and thus stop any further danger
for the girl. What he said to them I never knew,
but I was informed by those good people that it was
their desire, for reasons which they chose to keep
to themselves, that my friendship with their daugh-
ter should cease.
My school had grown to such proportions that I
had now taken a large studio apartment on Wash-
This girl came to me one day in despair, and told
me that she had been forbidden my friendship. She
was in a state of rebellion, as she had no idea of what
was back of it all. She said it was so unfair that
she would not obey them, and she would come to
me, as she was so fond of me she could not give our
I calmed her down, and of course did not reveal
the reason for this act on the part of her parents. I
talked long and seriously with her, and finally got
her to see that she was wrong in so indulging her-
self. She made me a promise that she would try her
best to overcome the habit. I had known that mas-
turbation was a habit indulged in by boys, but this
was my first knowledge that it was and is a very
common habit with girls as well. I was determined
that she should not come to see me, and she obeyed
my command. Years afterwards I ran across her in
New York, happily married, but with no children.
No reference was made to our former experience.
Our meeting was quite natural, and we enjoyed a
I understood better the attitude of that doctor,
while at the time I was so furious I could hardly
contain myself. I have discovered for myself, and
doctors have told me, that no parent will ever
believe that their own precious offspring would or
could ever indulge in any unnatural practices. Of
others they could readily believe it but not of theirs !
Doctors have also told me that they would be
promptly dismissed if they were to attempt to dis-
close to parents the real trouble with their child.
No children will ever acknowledge that they are
doing such a thing, either to their parents or to any-
one else, unless they are caught in the act.
-U. JA. M. «SZ» 4g.
W TP W *«■ W
One thing I am trying to show is the pity of plant-
ing in the mind of the small child the deadly poison
of fear and what it leads to.
A young girl will never dare to tell her parents
the truth about herself for fear of punishment. She
will not dare to tell a doctor the truth, as she would be
ashamed to. If she should dare tell the doctor, he in
turn would not dare tell the parents, for fear of offend-
ing and thereby losing his patients.
Doctors grope about in the dark many times to
find causes. They may have theories, but unless they
get the information straight from the only one who
knows, how are they to do other than resort to the
fatal sentence, as an example, of "She must never
again try to have another child"?
No one but the woman who really wants to have
children, as I did, knows the heartbreak those words
cause. At the time it was told me, I had to believe it.
If only it may be possible for parents to look at
the most vital problem in life in a sane manner, and
go fully into questions of sex with their children
with no feeling of shame, and obtain real co-opera-
tion from scientific minds by placing all the cards
on the table, great good would be accomplished.
Older people will have to relegate to the trash heap
such fallacies as, "My daughter tells, me everything"
or "I know my child has no idea regarding questions
Just believe that they do know more than one
realizes, and also know just how they have found
out these things, and at what cost. From the minute
when the average mother slaps a baby hand and
says, "No ! no ! don't put your hands there, naughty !
naughty ! " that baby is wondering why its hands are
slapped and soon, on the sly, he is going to see what
will happen if he goes on doing the same thing, if
he is not discovered.
There is some good reason why a baby's hand
goes to its little sensitive private parts. That baby
is not doing it at first because it is naughty, as he is
told so early. If mothers would only do the reason-
able thing and, without pumshing, investigate the
cause of some little irritation which might come
from not properly washing those parts or from
wrapping them up too closely with all the clothes
deemed necessary, and then take the necessary steps
to correct the conditions, they would probably find
no further immediate cause for the youngster to
endeavor to alleviate the uncomfortable sensation
All sorts of wonderful instruction is being given
to young mothers, as to the best methods of feeding
and the general care of children. This also is neces-
sary. But I have yet to learn of training as to how to
overcome the tendency of a child to handle its genital
organs, except by punishment of some kind.
These ideas, based as they are upon my own
personal experiences, have given me such an under-
standing of many of these problems that I cannot
but pass them on to the public.
WHEN the suggestion came from one
who has given the subject of sex ex-
haustive study, and with whom I had
talked at some length though without revealing the
most vital experiences I had been through, that I
should write a record of my experiences in life, I
said, "Write a history of my life? Why, my life is
something I have thrown away long ago!"
So I had considered for a long time. But I prom-
ised to consider the task. Then the question came to
my mind, "What is my life?" "Who am I?" I be-
lieve such questions baffle everyone.
As a girl and a young woman, great things were
predicted for my future by my elders. As I came
from a long line of artists, both in painting and
music, it was felt that I was the one who had been
given the gift to carry on in that line, as I had done
some things with my brushes that gave much promise.
As I was the only child in the combined families
who would sit quietly when my father and others
were singing, without being "made" to do so, and
because I had a true natural singing voice, music
was to be my forte. As a very young child I would
sit entranced by the music of Chopin, as played by
an intimate friend of the family. This was con-
sidered quite unusual in a child. I would even hum
certain parts of my favorite composition by that great
master, so that my friend could at once know just
what I wanted her to play.
During a severe attack of inflammatory rheu-
matism when about twelve years old, when no
opiates could deaden the pain, my father would sit
nearly the whole night through at the piano, play-
ing very softly, mostly in chords, as music with
which I was familiar would stir me. In this way, I
would sleep peacefully.
My sisters, of course, felt that I would make a
brilliant marriage. Poor dears! They knew wherein
they had failed, in all probability. From a worldly
point of view, there were many turned down who
have turned out famous, and some rich and some
scamps. So there you are !
My brothers? Well, they knew I would always
be a "Tom Boy" — a thing they reveled in when we
were at the playmate age, but held up as an accusing
epithet in after years, when it was rather a rare thing
for a girl to prefer playing with boys.
My dear mother? Harassed almost beyond en-
durance by financial and other worries when I came,
the last of the nine children. This I better realized
later in life, but to me then, she was the stern parent;
the one who was feared, as she was the one to ad-
minister the frequent spankings. What did she pre-
dict for me? I never knew.
Upon one occasion I was turned over to my father
with the order for him to do his duty in the form of
a spanking. Many times I knew why I was punished.
I could never see just why I should be hurt, as what
I did, I know now, was only the natural thing
which any normal child would do — a child who
could be reasoned with and shown just why it was
undesirable to do thus and so. I distinctly remember
upon that occasion I had not the slightest idea what
I was to be punished for.
I simply was overwhelmed that my father, who
had always been such a pal, was going to hurt me.
I just stared at him before and after the spanking.
Never a sound did I make. I simply walked away,
a very solemn and sad child.
As I sat thinking it over, with my heart so heavy,
I happened to hear my father say to my mother,
"Don't you ever ask me to whip that child again,
for I will never do it." That remark wiped away all
doubts and my confidence in him was reinstated. I
knew he understood things just as I did, though mat-
ters were never discussed.
All the demonstrations of affection I ever had as
a child came from my father and my oldest sister.
I was inclined to be demonstrative, and it was a com-
fort to show my affection for these two all my life,
or rather all of their lives.
My father was always delighted when there were
prospects of a new arrival in the family. My mother
told me later in life that my father actually wept
when he found there were to be no more babies.
All of this seemingly unjust punishment inflicted
by my mother never destroyed a deep affection for
her. It nearly killed me to see her suffer, either from
physical pain or mental anguish, as I often had
occasion to do.
A few years before I was born, and while she was
pregnant with the brother of whom I have written
as the leader of our clan, three children died. One
a baby, about two years old, of membranous croup.
One was a beautiful girl, judging from a portrait
of her which was painted by my uncle when she
was twelve years old. She died in a first attack of
inflammatory rheumatism. When I came down with
that same disease at the same age, there was of
course great fear for my life. I have been through
many attacks of this awful malady during my life,
but for some unknown reason my life has so far been
spared. A boy of sixteen was the third child to go
during that sad year.
How I suffered when I saw tears in my mother's
eyes. These children died before I was born, so of
course I could not realize why there should be so
many times of grief for them. I never could com-
fort my mother as I longed to do in a child's dumb
way, by putting my arms about her neck and kissing
her. Any attempt at such a demonstration would be
met with "There! there! now run away and don't
be silly!" She may have longed for those caresses,
but the stern puritanical training, which held emo-
tions of that kind to be taboo, must have had its
effect. Only once did I ever feel near my mother,
when she let me glimpse a softness I never dreamed
was in her nature.
When I left my husband and home after my
second confinement, she realized I would never
return to those conditions. She approved the step I
was taking, and gave me a letter to read later.
In that letter she really did open her wonderful
heart. She said she longed to take me in her arms
and tell me of her great love and sympathy, but that
she simply could not do it, with further tender and
It was to me she chose to come in her last years,
and it was my joy to give her a home and care for
her. She accepted my life as I chose to live it. She
loved the friend who shared my home as another
daughter, and not only tolerated our smoking — a
habit which I formed early in life — but even en-
joyed seeing me smoke as it reminded her so much
of my father, who had passed on several years be-
fore. Everyone always said I was very much like my
father. His family were of English stock and had
not many of the puritanical ideas. Yet I have always
had a deep reverence for things spiritual.
There were three occasions in my early life that
were dreaded, and caused me more heartaches than
any I can remember. These recurred with distress-
One, when I would find my mother before a
little old hair-covered trunk, weeping over baby
toys and clothing belonging to the children who had
died. Again, in the Spring, when the first blossoms
of the incomparable trailing arbutus were brought in
by us children, who were full of joy at again find-
ing the lovely blossoms, which should have been
covered with snow for many weeks, and the placing
of this flower on the three little graves. More of
those tears which I could not dry in my mother's
The third occasion came on communion Sunday,
and the tears would fall from her eyes as my mother
put the piece of bread in her mouth and tasted
something from a cup. It was a Unitarian church,
where the bread and wine were passed from pew
We were all taken to church every Sunday, and
I remember always peering around the great pulpit
as we entered, to see whether those awful silver
cups and covered plates were on the table. What a
relief when I found some flowers there instead of
the things which would bring the tears to the eyes
which were dear to me. Always I went to church
with that dread in my heart. One must not think my
mother was of a "weepy" nature. Rarely did the
tears flow, and when they did, it was so silently and
sadly that I was stabbed to the heart.
Why is it that mothers do not explain simply to
a wondering little mind things which it could un-
derstand? I have tried to show, by thus going into
details, the cruelty of not doing so. When a child is
old enough to wonder, he is old enough to have things
For years I could not think of the communion with
anything but intolerance because of the tears it had
brought to the eyes of my mother.
When she saw me smoking, her memory must
have carried back to the days of many spankings
for that act. Did those spankings do any good? I
could see no consistency in spanking me for some-
thing which my father did, and saying it was bad. It
was not bad. As a child, I knew it. I did not do it
because my father did. Most children, boys and
girls, try it out on the sly early in life. Some like it
and keep on. They find it does not kill them or make
them ill. I did this and have smoked continually,
one might say, all of my life.
When boys or girls are shown that, in athletics or
in some other way, it is handicapping them, they
will choose to stop smoking but they will never stop
because some one says it is bad or immoral. They
know better. The same thing is true in matters of
sex. When things are not explained to a child in
other ways than by spanking them and telling them
"naughty, naughy," they are going on many a dis-
astrous voyage of discovery on their own hook.
As I recall that old church of my childhood, there
comes to me one incident which filled my soul with
glee and which I thoroughly understood.
My father sang in the choir, as did the Mr.
Wiggins, of whom I have written. During a solo
by my father one Sunday, something happened so
unusual I was terrified. My father's voice faltered
for a second and the choir went on with his solo.
When we were driving home I asked him why
he stopped. He was even then distinctly disturbed
and said that that damned tooth of his which was
on a pivot dropped into his mouth. He was so dis-
gusted he just blew it out into the church as far as
he could, and he swore he would never again sing
in public. He never did.
I took it as a huge joke, and my mirth over the
episode nearly upset the big carriage full of family.
I pictured Deacon So-and-so picking said tooth out
of his ear or Grandma or Aunt this or that shaking
the tooth off her Sunday "bunnit" after church and
forever after hunting for the person with a cavity
in the first floor front. Even father had to join in
the laughter. I am sure my mother hoped it had
also wiped away his determination not to sing again,
as she well knew that was the only reason for his
going to church.
My mother's type of religion required the con-
vention of regular church attendance, while my
father's spiritual nature, which was, I believe, fully
as deep as that of my mother, was satisfied with the
great open spaces where he could worship the works
of God in his own way. My father's love of flowers
and all natural beauties was intense, and I realize
that my walks with him upon the rare occasions
when I was allowed to stay home from church, had
a much greater influence upon my spiritual develop-
ment than did the church attendance, when I
always had the fear of the tear-inducing service.
The joy of going straight to the spot where the rare
wild flowers grew, at the very time when the blos-
soms would be in perfection, is vivid to me now. As
I wondered how my father could know just when
they would be in bloom, he would give me a beauti-
ful conception of the way God's plans were carried
out when they were not meddled with by humans.
That great truth was so logical to my young mind,
I would often say to myself, when the flowers in the
garden did not come up to expectations, that it was
because we had not done things as God would do.
How wonderful it would have been if that lesson
could have been carried into more of one child's
When I realize the wonderful opportunities for
lessons in physical development, and in the concep-
tion and creation of the human being, that my
father passed by on those walks, when he could so
beautifully have explained life in a way to dispel
all of the natural childish curiosity, I could weep
even now. I was not too young to have understood,
even at the age when he would often have to carry
me in his arms to rest my tired little feet.
However, what I missed other children, I believe,
have gained, as it has been my privilege, at the
request of parents, to present these truths to many
boys and girls in such a way as to dispel the idea that
there need be anything to be ashamed of in the
knowledge of the conception and development of
the human any more than in the creation and de-
velopment of the perfect flower.
This bit of retrospection may have some bearing
on the formation of my character, which I have
always found so complex and mystifying.
Possibly I have been indulging a tendency so
common in advancing years to yield to the thought
of "that reminds me." How many events crowd into
my mind — events which have been filed for so long
with the things which I have been all my life
struggling to forget, and believing I had actually
forgotten ! Does one ever forget a single sensation in
any way related to matters of sex? Yet isn't it strange
that sensations so unforgettable are seldom trans-
lated into words.
And so I have wondered which has been or is, of
my many selves, my real self — or if I have one. I
have been engaged in many different enterprises, or
occupations, seemingly in periods averaging about
five or six years in duration. I know I have been a
success in the positions I have held — not to my own
financial benefit but as respects the work itself. I
have never taken up any work without fully believ-
ing in it. I was used to hearing my friends say, "You
are just made for this work." At the time I felt so
myself. Then would come this recurring urge for
change which I could not combat. It would seem
that my whole being was turning inside out and
that I was fated to be someone else. I have always
given up each work of my own volition, and always
to the apparent consternation and dismay of my
I am naturally leaving out details of that side of
my life that has always been an open book. I refer
to it to try to answer the question, "Was that my
real self?" In discussing the sexual side of my nature
I ask the same question.
Looking back over my life as I do now, as I near
its close, I feel that each side is real — that neither
one would be complete without the other. Social
ethics have declared that the spiritual and the mate-
rial aspects of one's nature should be widely sepa-
rated, the one concealed, so to speak, whereas, were
they both to be made open books and all the deceit
and lies abolished, there would be more normal hu-
man beings in the world.
Now to go back to the revelations by my young
friend. People have always confided in me. I have,
I believe, always had a sympathy for and understand-
ing of human problems. I have never betrayed the
trust people have placed in me. I am now doing no
more than generalize. What I say is not based on
extensive research under this or that foundation,
nor on statistics gathered from children or adoles-
cents who would never tell the truth regarding such
matters. I am writing about actual experiences of
my own, and of actual experiences related to me
There are few problems I have not met and
fought out alone during my life, and I feel that
perhaps experience may be the best teacher.
Many women have told me of their dissatisfac-
tion with the sexual side of married life; that sexual
intercourse apparently brought blissful peace to the
husband, while it served but to arouse the wife's
desire to the point of madness. There lies the peace-
fully sleeping satisfied man and beside him lies the
wide-awake, distraught wife, who develops nerves
and resorts to medicine to quiet what nature in-
tended should be quieted in quite another way.
Why cannot love and desire be parted definitely?
They cannot be one when the chief attribute of love
is to give of one's self for the joy and happiness of
another and desire is solely for the selfish pleasure
of physical satisfaction. A sore throat or headache,
a backache or bunion, are treated scientifically and
relief comes. Compared with the suffering of these
petty ills, who is there that has experienced the
tortures of unsatisfied sexual desire, which comes at
times to every human being as a perfectly natural
disease, we may call it, who would not welcome a
"perfectly natural" and legitimate remedy for this
A woman needs this relief quite as much as a
man needs it, popular and old-fashioned ideas to the
Medical science knows why so many women,
young and old, are being maintained in our insane
asylums today. It is because of unsatisfied sexual
It certainly was not sexual desire that led me to
the altar. I had never felt the desire for a man, prob-
ably because of my early and unfortunate exper-
iences, but in my ignorance I supposed I was the only
woman who did not possess that desire.
Scientific works on this subject are usually filled
with technical terms, involving hidden meanings,
and based almost entirely upon theory. Few have
dared, I believe, to go right to the foundation in the
frank way I am now doing. These books, therefore,
make little or no impression on the lay person, into
whose hands they rarely come.
Conservative old women, clinging to old-fash-
ioned ideas, will raise their hands in holy horror
[i3 2 ]
to think that another old woman not so old-fash-
ioned has dared expose facts they have ever held
secretly in their hypocritical hearts. I have done it
all my life, so I know. Of course there are many
who have never met the problems set forth in this
book. On the other hand, the actual experiences of
one ordinary woman who, I trust, will strike them
as being sincere, written down with no ulterior mo-
tives, I hope may solve like problems for girls and
women in similar situations, and also help them to
understand the problems which today confront the
youth of our country, that they may understand and
help their own children.
JJ, Jfe 4fe Jfe &
w w *lf w T
FOR SEVERAL years, my little school kept
me in the city near both my friends. The
Professor's wife was not actively in my
life, however, after the night when I made my last
desperate fight for motherhood.
No one will ever know what my suffering was or
has been and will ever be that I was not to know the
joy of having a living child. Remembering the grief
it was to me to see my mother brooding over the
little toys and garments of her lost children, I im-
mediately gave away all of the pretty things which
I had so happily prepared for the little ones. Never
again was I even tempted to marry, though suitors
old and new appeared at different times.
My actress friend was still the favored one and,
although I lived in my studio where I had my
school, we had many evenings together, with music
and theaters, and many evenings alone in my studio,
where some wonderful love making (as we thought
it to be) took place.
I knew this was not the ideal love of my life,
which I always hoped would come to me, yet it was
not merely animal attraction. The desire to make
her happy, in a way she had never known before,
was brought on by some great impulse, stirred by
hearing some wonderful music or by a visit to the
various picture galleries in which I would spend
hours. Pictures alive with soul and atmosphere
would stir me as would beautiful music. Beauty
would inspire me to do better the work before me
and to broaden my views of life in many ways; to
forget myself and the suffering I had endured.
Indeed, I felt I was a better woman after I had
looked upon some great work of art. Hard as it
may be to believe it, there would come a real spir-
itual uplift such as never came through the pre-
scribed channels of churchly religion.
Corot was and ever has been my idol in the world
of art. It was my joy to perform certain secretarial
duties in an art gallery where I could absorb and
study four of Corot's most famous works. I was
always thankful that I had inherited from my
father a love and an appreciation of these paintings.
These paintings the father of my employer had
taken for debt, and bequeathed, along with many
millions of dollars, to his daughter, who had no
conception of art in any form.
I cannot refrain here from a little reminiscence.
During this period of my work, I was commissioned
to buy a small rug to fit a special place in this art
gallery. The thrill I felt when I discovered a little
Bokhara, the color and texture of which would melt
in your mouth, or rather into your heart! It did into
mine, so I ordered it sent to the house on approval.
No special enthusiasm was shown when I exhibited
the prize, yet it was placed on the floor for con-
sideration. The delight I had with that bit of color
all day cannot be described. First in the bright sun-
light, again in the shadow; now in the candle glow
and then in the glare of the electric lights. Always
a new thrill.
That was my rug day. Time has never erased the
joy of that day. The following day the rug was re-
turned, with the casual remark that a maid had dis-
covered it to have been slightly worn in one or two
places, which showed that a second-hand rug had
been thrust upon an unsuspecting secretary. I am
quite sure that she never did any more buying from
a firm which would send her a second-hand rug!
What was the use ! I did not even try to explain. She
probably never knew that the same rug was later
placed in a wonderful collection and a much more
marvelous price paid for it than at which it
was offered to her.
I think I have mentioned the fact that I was left
in a very terrible condition after my two confine-
ments. It was necessary for me to be mended before
I would be able to carry on my work and support
myself. After months of treatment I was at last
ready for the operation which was to restore to
normal the work of the country "butchers," as the
specialist called them. The operation was very com-
plicated, but after a few weeks in the hospital, the
doctor pronounced the results satisfactory and said
that I was as good as new.
I did ask him if he considered it wise for me to
have a child again and he said there could be no
possible danger. I think I may have asked this as a
sort of test for myself; also to assure myself of the
fallacy of doctors pronouncing the fatal words to so
many women. Had I been wise then as I am today
and if the views of man had been different, I feel
convinced that I might have had a child some time
by a father chosen just for that occasion. I realize,
however, that there are quite a few questions to be
settled before that method may be entirely fair to
My city contact had caused me to look at myself
less and less as a sexual monstrosity. I was thrown in
a great measure with people who saw only the
feminine side of my nature.
About this time my husband divorced me on the
grounds of desertion. I could have brought counter
suit on the grounds of non-support, but I had no
desire to do so. If he wanted to marry again I was
glad — for him — so I made no protest, not even
appearing. My lawyer notified me when the divorce
was granted and of the time when I would be free
to marry again.
I was urged by friends and suitors to marry, but
I had firmly made up my mind that I could never
again endure the intimacy of a man as a husband,
and on this point I never changed my mind.
I met many charming men. I enjoyed their com-
panionship and always felt more at home with them
as a group than with a lot of women. I looked at life
through a man's eyes. Women as individuals in-
terested me but men, never. I did not fall in love
with women but I was ever groping to find the
Perfect Mate who I believed existed for me.
Mentality and tastes were first considerations, and it
was a long hunt.
Now opens what I feel to be the most important
and probably the most significant era in my life. By
this time I had firmly made up my mind that the
masculine role was the one which appealed to me
far more than that of the female, which I had been
trying to play and with such little success. I believed
that "All the world's a stage." I had played the dif-
ferent parts assigned to me, or chosen by myself,
as well as I could. I had so far been a poor manager
for myself. My work under the direction of an
employer was always more than satisfactory.
Notwithstanding these facts, I felt the urge to
start out for myself not only in a business way but
also wholly in control of my emotional nature,
which I was beginning to understand a little better.
I had always been fond of amusing children, and
one time I hit upon an easily constructed toy which
always delighted them. It came to my mind one
day that as this toy had an expanse of paper, it
could be used for advertising purposes. I went to my
parents' home, much to their delight, and to test
out my idea, I made a few of these toys and tried
them "on the dog," so to speak. That is, I went to
the nearest large town and in one day I easily se-
cured forty dollars worth of "ads." That amount
would be net to me after all expenses were paid.
I bought enough paper at retail prices to make up
a few thousand of these toys and found that I was
able to sell them without any trouble, wherever I
went, in all the towns near home. I was convinced
that I had a good business if I handled it myself. I
then bought a ton of paper direct from the mill,
taught a few people to make the toys, and applied
for a patent, which I secured later.
Then I started out and worked all the small towns
in the vicinity and then the nearby cities. I got or-
ders as fast as I could travel, and soon had to buy
some simple machines to expedite the manufacture
and so hasten the delivery.
It was a most interesting as well as a remunerative
experience. In those days a woman salesman was
unknown. I always dressed in a tailor-made suit with
a man's shirt and tie, and wore a Fedora hat.
When I entered a store, got in touch with the
proprietor, and stated my business, it was amusing
to watch the customers, clerks, other salesmen "stop,
look, and listen." Here was apparently a cultivated
lady, speaking good English, selling something she
had invented herself ! An unheard of thing. The ease
with which I sold the toy astonished any drummer
who might be in the store at the time I went in. I
always asked them to finish their business before I
took the floor, but they were so curious to see what
I was doing that they always insisted upon my going
I stopped at the best hotels and many times, while
I was at dinner in the evening, these drummers
would come to my table, introduce themselves, and
begin to talk business. They had seen me selling the
toy and all wanted to carry it as a side line.
I was only too anxious to find someone who could
sell it, for, while it was interesting for a while for
me to try the sales end of the business, I could see
that it would be far more interesting for me to sit
at my desk and manage a much larger business, if
I were able to recruit an efficient staff of workers.
I made business arrangements with several of
these drummers but, for some reason, they were
never able to sell the toy. I then realized it was up to
me to do the selling. The success I had gained
was probably due to my having invented it and
also, perhaps, to the fact that I had some person-
ality — always a great factor in the selling of ideas.
I was pleased with the attitude of these drummers
on my trips. At that time, they were regarded as a
rather gay lot with the ladies, and I saw many
things in my travels to substantiate that conception.
With me it was different. They were always cour-
teous, and there never was an attempt at flirting. I
approached men as man to man, and they respected
my attitude. I was glad that I rarely had to do busi-
ness with women. They always eyed me with a
degree of disapproval, and I could see that my severe
style of dress did not appeal to them. I enlarged the
field of my operations and was getting more and
more into the class where I could sell the toys by the
thousand to one firm rather than solicit a number
of advertisers on one toy.
I write of this experience only as it leads up to
"the great adventure," so to speak.
During this period of over a year, my emotional
or sexual nature was dormant. I put my whole heart
and soul into that business, for I believed in it. It
was a success financially and I was able to give oc-
cupation to many women in the little country town,
much to their delight.
As I came in contact with women during that
period, I came to look at them as all women, never
as woman. They were rather a disturbing element,
as I found them rather difficult in business. It was
hard to get their minds away from the, to them,
eccentricities of my dress. One could easily recog-
nize that the "drummer" was the one great thrill
in their restricted lives, behind those tiresome coun-
ters. That women did not attract me during this
interval may not be significant, since, naturally, I
came in no social contact with any, and so never met
any who "spoke my own language" as it were. It
also serves to show that sexuality was not uppermost
in my mind.
MY WORK brought me nearer and nearer
to the great city where I was to tackle
one of the largest contracts yet. This
was with a big department store where, if successful,
I would sell one hundred thousand. This would take
lots of time and as I was wholly on business bent, I
chose to go to a hotel rather than to any of my friends.
Why I chose to go to a hotel where they catered
"to women only" and one with a religious back-
ground, I can never attribute to anything but fate.
When I entered the office to engage a room I
found a "fat (un)fair and forty" female smugly
sitting at the desk. She turned to me with a typical
"Christian" expression on her face, which could not
hide the uncompromising, cruel mouth. She may
have had a heart, but it was so well upholstered
with adipose tissue that no trace of one was left in
her face. One could readily see that she could turn
a young girl into the streets of that great city, late
at night, and a stranger, because she was not of the
faith which would entitle her to a bed and safe
refuge. I learned later this had been done many
times in this Christian hotel !
To me she was suave and smiling and had the
expression which said "I am drawing a big salary
for having just this expression between the hours of
— and — daily." She asked my wishes. As I stood
waiting for the fat one to wait on someone before
me, I saw beyond her, over in the rather hidden
corner of the office, a youngish girl sitting on a low
stool with her head bowed and over her face the
most beautiful hands I had ever seen. She was weep-
ing in suppressed sobs. The tears seemed to be
coming from the soul rather than from the eyes.
When asked what the fat one could do for me,
I wanted to say "Please comfort that girl." But of
course that wouldn't do in such a holy place, so I
told her I would like a room. It was in July, and it
hardly surprised me to find my room very warm. I
had plenty to think about. I had answered with
fidelity all the questions asked me, and had been
given a room. I looked about me and was greatly
amused by the expensively printed warnings hang-
ing on the walls. I read the wonderful words of
Christ also printed and framed, and hung as a com-
fort to the hearts of the selected, who were of the
"right" faith. A plea for charity! I fell to wonder-
ing about the young woman in tears. What comfort
could be found on or in the fat bosom, when the
hard mouth showed how hollow it was, where
instead there should have been charity for all.
Those beautiful hands were before me far into
the night. The excessive heat in that stuffy room
also contributed toward keeping me awake. I
thought little of my discomfort, however, as my
heart ached for that girl, whose very hands showed
she was out of her sphere. I wondered.
One was allowed to engage a room for only one
day at a time but, in spite of the heat, I was deter-
mined to try one more night, all on account of the
sobs of a stranger.
In the morning, I went to the office to see whether
my moral status still measured up to the required
standard and — there at the desk — sat the girl with
the beautiful hands. The tears had been dried and
she looked up at me with eyes shining with love and
Here was one who could not turn away a girl on
account of her religion, were she not bound by rules
so stern she could not evade them. And even in such
a case I was sure she would suggest some way of
Turning to me she asked sweetly what she could
do for me, instead of "what did I want." I said I
wished to engage my room for the following night.
When she found which room I had occupied, she
turned to me in astonishment and said: "You are
the first woman occupying that room in the summer
who has not entered a violent protest in the morn-
ing about the heat ! I will see that you have a better
My business kept me out until quite late in the
afternoon. In acknowledgment of her courtesy in
regard to the room, and remembering her anguish
when I first saw her, I brought her a bunch of lovely
violets when I returned.
She was just going "off duty" when I went to the
office. As she had given me a better room and had
had my things moved, she said she would show me
where it was, as she was going to that floor. She was
greatly pleased with the flowers, and her lovely eyes
thanked me more than words. I found my room
was directly across the hall from hers.
Something told me that here was the girl of my
dreams. I wasn't looking for her; she just came into
my life, and I knew. But how to convince her that
she was to be my mate was the question.
There must be no crude awakening. I knew at
once that she was not in her natural environment;
that she had been gently reared, but that, through
some calamity, she was here making a brave and suc-
While I naturally hated the whole atmosphere of
that whited sepulcher, I did not hate this one human
being connected with the conduct of its business, so
I stayed on, engaging my room day by day and never
asking to have it changed. Let us call my new friend
Juno. We met frequently in the hall, in going to
and from our rooms. I had found out her schedule
quite by accident, and found I was making my busi-
[i 4 6]
ness engagements fit into ones which seemed now of
more vital importance to me. John Drew was about
to open a new play, and I bought two tickets for the
night when I knew Juno was to be free. When I told
her, at one of our chance meetings in the corridor
between our rooms, that I had the tickets, and asked
her to take pity on me, as I had no one with whom
to go, she hesitated. She said she had always observed
a custom of the house never to accept an invitation
to go out with a guest. But she also said she longed
to go and, after a little urging, she consented.
She wore a charming, simple little gown which
just suited her. I say "little" simply as a term of en-
dearment, for Juno was taller than I, and had a
magnificently proportioned figure. I dressed in my
only change from the day suit, in a handsome black
tailored suit with a black hat and white silk shirt. I
called a hansom when we were away from the hotel,
for fear of hurting the feelings of the dames who did
not smile on this growing friendship.
I remember little of the play. By this time, I was
madly in love with Juno and longed to put my arms
about her and tell her of it. It all seemed so natural
and right to me, I inwardly rebelled, of course,
against convention which said "it isn't done." Pa-
tience was my watchward for success, as I knew
more certainly each minute that we were made for
each other and that in time she would know it too.
On the way home, we stopped at a very conserva-
tive hotel, where it was permissible and wholly re-
spectable for two ladies to have supper without a
male escort. We had a delightful supper and talk,
and lingered long, as there had been no "time limit"
for her that evening. She told me much about her
life before she took the position in which I found
her. As I had surmised, she had been brought up in
very different surroundings, an orphan. All her
brothers and sisters had been married, she was en-
gaged to be herself, and was deeply in love with the
man. It developed, however, that there were reasons
why she could not marry this man, and she had de-
cided to find solace in hard work. She had also de-
cided that she would never marry.
After this first evening, which she said she had
enjoyed more than anything she had done since she
had left her home, we had many little chats and
walks together. I referred one day to the tears she
was shedding the first time I ever saw her hands. She
laughingly said she remembered that evening so
well. She had heard my voice when I was going
through the awful questioning and longed to look
up, even through her tears, but she did not dare to
with those eyes so red. However, she did go to the
register as soon as I had gone upstairs and found out
my name. Perhaps she, too, had that feeling that we
were to mean more to each other. She then told me
why she was so silly that night. This was her first
experience in earning her living, as the rich relative
[i 4 8]
who had brought the children up in the most luxur-
ious surroundings had cut them off without a penny
when he found that they were contemplating mar-
riage. The occasion of the tears was that some well
meaning woman had left the change of twenty-five
cents on the desk and told Juno to keep it for her-
self ! She thought there could be no greater disgrace
in life than to have to receive a "tip" from a com-
mon woman. She had no time to refuse it, and she
dared not throw it after her — a woman with so little
Now my way was clear. I felt that if I could win
her love, I might bring to her even greater happiness
than she had anticipated with the man whom she
thought she loved. Furthermore, I would not in any
way be interfering with any future marriage plans.
It was apparent that she thought I was different
from any woman she had ever known, and that she
was both interested in and attracted by me. We had
many long walks together and went often to art
galleries and to the theater. Our tastes were much
alike, and this comradeship was the foundation upon
which I was working.
My sexual passions were not aroused by my con-
tact with her. I longed to caress her and give some
sign of my love, but I could not do so as yet.
The elderly dames, after the pattern of the one
whom I had found in charge of the hotel when I
arrived, while they were always polite to me and I
feel liked me, were alert in their warnings to Juno
about forming a friendship which might interfere
with her work. Juno was the only young person on
the "staff." They were terrified that I might take
her away, for they, as well as everyone else with whom
she came in contact, loved her sincerely.
Juno was entirely out of her element in the place,
yet she was doing her work with a degree of enthu-
siasm sufficient to sap her vitality quickly. The
dames had no knowledge of me other than they
gained by the questions they asked when I applied
for admission to the hotel. They told Juno that,
notwithstanding the fact that I was a charming
woman, she should be a little careful about succumb-
ing to my charms. In after years we often laughed
at these precautions against losing her taken by the
Our friendship grew. She would often drop into
my room on her way to bed, after an evening on
duty. I would leave my door slightly ajar so she could
see that I was lying on the bed and reading.
My personal appearance? If someone else were
writing about that I believe they would say: She
had a wonderful complexion and smooth skin, soft
brown hair which curled in little ringlets about the
forehead and neck (it is now snowy white, wavy in
front and cut in a "boyish bob"), which were white
and with correct lines; not too fat (as I am now),
artistic hands, also pronounced as capable ones; a
figure true to form, of about "size forty" at that
time; graceful in all movements; a voice soft and
well modulated; speaking good English, enunciating
her words easily but clearly, and so on.
One evening I had loosened my necktie and the
collar of my light blue shirt — a color then quite in
vogue — and was impatiently waiting for my girl to
be through with her work and to peep in to say good
night and give me the sweet little kiss, as we had
progressed to that stage by this time. Very proper
little kisses, however.
My feelings for her at this time were not of an
amorous nature. My heart was calling for her as a
mate. We were so in sympathy on every subject we
touched. We loved the same things in music, litera-
ture, and art. The music we heard together stirred
her as it did me, with a depth of emotion we hardly
understood. I occasionally got glimpses of her pas-
sionate and hungry nature and longed to open the
gates of pent-up emotion.
During this rapturous period of wooing, I was
occupied in a sort of a desultory way with the large
contract for my toy, but I must confess my heart
was somewhere else. There were orders enough
ahead to keep the home forces busy, so I could wait,
as indeed it was in a measure necessary for me to do,
in dealing with so large a concern, with all its com-
My other two friends claimed a part of my time,
but my heart and thoughts were so wholly taken
up with what I knew to be the one whom I had
sought all my life, that I allowed no opportunity
for a possible resumption of former intimacies
I was patiently waiting for the right time to de-
clare my love — until a beautiful foundation of sym-
pathy and companionship should be firmly estab-
lished, as any wise and normal lover should do.
Hundreds of little ways came to my mind, day by
day, in which to nourish the perfect flower that waxed
stronger, and grew and grew.
The time and opportunity came at last, when I
was sure that she not only loved me but was also "in
love" with me (but did not realize it), for me to
tell her as gently as possible how deeply I was in love
with her and what I hoped would be the culmination
of this great love — that we could really belong to
each other with a more intense love than she had
ever dreamed possible. Of course, she was mystified.
My kiss that night was more intense than ever be-
fore, and her lips willingly yielded to mine . . .
She was truly worried. She said she loved me
madly, but not as she had ever supposed she could
love a woman — even more than she had loved the
man whom she was engaged to marry. She wondered
whether I really were a woman. I assured her that
I was, and a wholly normal one, telling her of my
two children, and so forth.
I talked about our possible marriage. Why not?
I had thought the thing out and I argued that a
union of hearts and souls constituted a real union,
call it marriage if need be. My experience had shown
me that to most men, and very likely to some women,
marriage merely meant a legitimatized permission to
cohabit for the relief of sexual desire.
To me it seemed that a union between two women
could be of a higher type, and creative of a more
secure happiness and good than any other. At this
time I was convinced that I was the only woman
who had ever thought of matters in this way. I am
sure my thoughts were far from anything but the
highest type of love in all its beauty.
We decided it would be best for both of us to
think things over quietly, before we finally decided
to bind ourselves to each other in solemn compact.
Having at last concluded the deal upon which I
had been working, I found it necessary to go to a city
about twelve hours distant by rail. Of course we
were to write often. Juno's decision would naturally
have its influence upon my future field of action, as
she knew. I arranged for flowers and fruits to be
sent to her regularly during my absence, and was
quite the accepted "lover."
She had much to consider, too, in making any
change such as we had pictured. It would become
necessary for her to change or at least to re-arrange
her work, so that we could live together. We had
planned to have our own apartment, each to go on
with some work through the day, but to have our
evenings and nights at home to ourselves.
The parting was hard, for we were very dear to
each other and had been together for quite a while,
enjoying every minute of our companionship.
I waited twenty-four hours after arriving before
I wrote to her. That had given me time to reassure
myself, and she too had been able to think things
over. The letter I wrote must have carried to her
some idea of the love I felt for her and probably
gave her a vivid picture of what our life would be,
if lived as one. The following afternoon after I had
made a very good deal with a large firm in that city,
and so kept the home fires burning, I received a tele-
gram from her: "Come, every bit of me wants you,"
signed with an initial.
I canceled business engagements for the next day
and hustled about to find that, by taking a night
boat (a mode of travel I had always hated), I could
reach the city early in the morning of a day I knew
Juno was to be free. I wired her to be at our quiet
and conservative hotel at a certain hour in the morn-
ing, and to wait if I were late.
How it rained all night ! I knew, for I walked the
covered deck until nearly morning. It was still pour-
ing when, after a short sleep, I resumed my impa-
tient marathon with renewed vigor.
THE boat docked and the rain fell in tor-
rents. I called a cab and gave the driver
directions to go to a wholesale florist, any-
where he could find one on the way uptown. It took
some persuasion to get the big bunch of violets from
the wholesaler, but I did so, and sped away to my
love. The wonderful violets alone would have told
the story of my love for her, for they personified every-
When I arrived, Juno was waiting for me in the
parlor of our hotel, eager, and with a most ardent
welcome. After the necessary formalities, we were
shown to our room. When we were alone our arms
were about each other and our lips met in the first
kiss that was a pledge of a great and beautiful love.
She loved the violets and, in our enthusiasm, it was
rather hard to come to earth and make some plans.
She had arranged for a free day. That was an
important point gained. Then, being both very nor-
mal beings, we felt that we must have the breakfast
to which we were accustomed. A delicious one was
ordered, and we sat and loved and talked and thought.
After the removal of the breakfast dishes, we be-
gan to talk of our love. I tried to make her see that
for me it was not a passing fancy and that I believed
it was a serious matter to her. We discussed all phases
of marriage, and I gave her my views, based on my
own experience. She, of course, felt that there could
never be a man in her life again. So we decided that
a union such as ours was to be could be made as holy
and complete as the most conventional marriages, if
not more so.
I suggested that we read the marriage ceremony
together as a sort of benediction to our union. We
had built up a firm foundation for our lives in the
love we held for each other. Our coming together
was not for animal satisfaction. There was a real
sympathy of ideas and ideals and, as a by-product, as
it were, was to come the physical relief of sex desire.
As I always carried my prayer book with me, we
very solemnly read the service, and meant every
word of it.
It may seem incongruous that I should have car-
ried a prayer book with me on my journeyings. I had
joined the Episcopal Church at the time when I be-
came engaged to the youth during my college life,
as that was his church. The prayer book was the gift
of my dear sister who had passed on. While I always
have had a deep spiritual conception of life and a
deep respect for the teachings of Christ, which
doubtless came to me through my mother's influence,
at the time when my children were lost to me and I
was forced by the conventional sympathizer to be-
lieve that this had been by God's will, I had little
respect for that God. Of course I interpreted "God's
will" differently than they, but in applying it to my
case I could see no justice shown by a God who
could create me with so strange a nature. In using
the words as written in that book, there came back
to me a certain comfort in believing that there was
a Force to bring joy, even if it had had to come
We both believed that I was the only one in the
world who desired the love of a woman. The time
for mere conversation was over. I found willing re-
sponse to my caresses.
She, too, wanted to show her love, as I had mine.
At last I had reached the heights of physical love.
Poets have written and sung of "that day of love"
or "that night of love" in words and tones which
could not express the bliss of it, so why should I try
to do so?
We lingered and loved and rested, and felt there
could be no end to the desires which arose. It was
the expression of about twenty-five years of suppres-
sion of emotion in both of us. In a sane moment,
we dressed and took a long drive and had lunch at
a favorite restaurant in the Park, and then returned
to our room early in the afternoon. We had to make
plans now for the future.
One thing was certain: that we must live together.
If she could make arrangements to keep on with her
work and live away from the hotel where she was
employed, it would be best for me to stay in the city
and find some work other than handling my toy.
If I were to go on with that business, it would in-
volve traveling about and being away from her too
much. So we decided to stay in the city. I knew that
I was giving up a fortune by giving up my business,
as I was assured that it was a success and that there
would be no end of the sales I could make myself.
Unfortunately, no one else was ever able to handle
it. However, I had found my mate, and no fortune
could keep me from her.
Juno had to go back to her hotel that night, and it
tore our hearts terribly to have to part. I did not see
her until the next evening, when I was waiting with
impatience the result of her conference with her
employers. In the meantime, I had spent the day
looking for a furnished apartment where we could
make our home, and I had found one which suited
me and which I felt would please her too. The min-
ute I saw her, I knew that all was well. The dames
had consented to a change of plans, as they knew
that otherwise they would lose their most valuable
asset to the success of the house. They arranged for
her to have day duty, and all was well. The next day
I saw my friends, who were delighted to have me
re-open my little school, and in a few days we were
settled in our own home and were supremely happy.
The mother of two of the children who were to
be in my school tried to have me go with her and
the children, as a companion and teacher, to Rome
for six months and then to Paris for another six
months. A year in Europe! How I would have
jumped at it before I met Juno ! But now, what was
a year in Europe compared to a lifetime in paradise?
Our days were not spent in longing for each other.
We both had real joy in our work, which was done
better than ever before. We read much together, we
saw the best plays, took long walks, and lived on a
plane higher than we realized before to be possible.
Our lives blended to perfection. We seemed to
satisfy in each other every need and craving. The
hypocrisy in that hotel for women disgusted her
daily, but nevertheless she put into her work the real
Christ spirit, and many poor and weary hearts were
cheered and comforted by Juno.
As our souls and hearts were drawn together, so
were our bodies. We both felt that, without the deep
and true love we felt for each other, there could be
no satisfaction in sexual contact. This was a result
of, rather than a cause for, our love and happiness.
It was our equal desire to be continually doing
some great or little tender and loving thing for the
other. Knowing that little rifts might occur, Juno
confessed to a somewhat unruly temper at times and
that, if she should err, it was an impossibility for
her to confess her error. She had always believed
that she could never say she was "sorry," and had
been through the tortures of Hell while obdurate
on that point when her elders had tried to force her
to a confession. She asked me, if such an occasion
should arise, when she should be wholly to blame,
if I would assume the role of the guilty one; in that
way, she would be able to contradict me and say it
was her fault. It seemed a silly thing, as the
acknowledgment of a fault had always been one of
the easiest things I had to do, but there was nothing
I would not have promised her, and this little eccen-
tricity became in time a great joke.
It was years, however, before we had occasion to
resort to that little game.
I held my little school in our apartment, as I was
alone there through the day. It was a great success
and, from the applications I had from new pupils,
it would soon have grown beyond its bounds. I felt,
however, that I could not give it the assurance of
permanency, as my life was so bound up in Juno's.
I felt that I could not do anything that might in-
terfere with our life and plans together. Another
opportunity passed by because of my great love for
the woman of my heart.
Juno felt a growing disgust for her work, which
was being conducted on lines wholly base at the
"semi-philanthropic memorial tablet." So we were
casting about for some more congenial work for her.
We kept on until spring, when there came a crisis in
my affairs which caused a change in our lives.
My father's sudden illness and death made it
necessary for me to go home, take charge of affairs,
and be with my mother, for a time at least. Before
this Juno had arranged for a secretarial position in
one of the most select and fashionable private (and
they were private) finishing schools in the city.
(The girls were finished in some instances also.)
This position was to be open in the fall, so this fitted
in perfectly with our plans. A separation was not to
be thought of, so Juno resigned her position, and I
had again to disappoint the parents of the children
whom I was teaching. I gave up the school, and we
both went to my mother's home in the country.
To illustrate the fact that sexual problems arise
right under our very eyes, though many times we
never see them, I will here tell of an incident con-
nected with our life in the little apartment where
Juno and I began our life together.
I procured a young East Side girl, through the
recommendation of a laundress we employed, to
come to the apartment each morning to do the or-
dinary work. I did most of the cooking when we did
not go out for dinner. Lizzie's first work was in the
kitchen, next to the dining room where I had my
school. She had a wooden leg, so was not able to go
into regular service. She was very happy with us and
we got used to the thump of the wooden member of
her anatomy and to the usual noises in the kitchen,
so that our school was not disturbed by them.
One day she came to work in a pouring rain.
When she arrived I said, "You have no rubbers on,
your feet must be very wet," she replied: "Oh! me
wan fut is and tother don't count." She evidently
thought it would be a waste of money to buy a pair
of rubbers with only one "fut" to benefit thereby.
One morning it was necessary for a plumber to
do some work in the kitchen during the school ses-
sion. We got used to the various hammerings and
noises connected with the work, but, after a time, I
was conscious of a regular and rather desultory
knocking. Knock! knock! knock! I was puzzled,
and quietly opened the door into the kitchen, out of
pure curiosity, while the children were singing. To
my astonishment, I found Lizzie and the plumber
in a compromising situation, the man at the same
time pounding away with his hammer. I gave him a
look which he remembered and quietly told Lizzie to
go the front of the apartment and do her work there.
This she did, skipping along on her unmated pair of
In the afternoon, I went to the plumber's place
of business. He had just started on his own and
looked scared to death when he saw me. I talked
with him about the affair from the girl's point of
view. He said she was willing enough, but he soon
saw that there might be serious results and that the
girl and her mother would be the ones to suffer. He
was quite ready to place a certain amount of money
in my hands, in escrow, as it were, to await develop-
ments. I told him that in case everything came out
all right, I would return the money.
When I was assured that Lizzie was not preg-
nant, I took the money to the plumber and had a
long talk with him. I told him of my talk with
Lizzie and that she had told me she only did as she
had as "it was an easy way to get fifty cents for her
mother." It seemed to open up a new idea to him.
Whether the impression lasted I shall never know,
but at least he asked me to keep the money he had
given me and to use it for the girl in such a way that
she would never know where it came from.
I was convinced that sexual desire on the part of
the girl was not responsible for this incident, but she
was willing to sell her body for fifty cents to gratify
the desire of the man, in order to help her mother
who, of course, would never have been convinced
that her daughter would do such a thing. Society
still condemns the girl and the man is considered to
be enjoying his so-thought natural and necessary
When we were to leave for the country, Lizzie
begged so hard to go with us, and her mother was
likewise so anxious to have her go, that we con-
sented to take her. I felt it would be a good thing
for her to be away from an environment which
might lead to her defeat. In her life she had had
one "country week" under the auspices of some
society, and had always carried in her mind the
glorified picture of green grass, upon which she
could step without being "chased by the cops," and
of the flowers which were free for all. We told her
that at that season of the year we should find only
ice and snow and mud, with no green grass for weeks
and weeks to come, but this made no difference to her.
Go she must, and go she did.
Poor Lizzie ! She could find there no semblance to
the wonderful picture she had carried in her mind
for so long. The change from the bright lights and
hurdy-gurdies to a bleak northern New England
farm in early spring was too great for the poor child.
She became homesick and almost desperate with
longing for "dear old Av'nyer A" and we had
to send her back. To what? We never knew, as
there ended our contact with the wooden-legged child
of the slums.
As there seemed to be no other way, I took the re-
sponsibility of running the farm for the summer.
With Juno by my side we made of it a wonderful ad-
venture. Of course, my duties were strenuous, as I
had only the help of a young boy of fourteen. I loved
the work, however. As a small girl I had followed
my father and brothers about as they were doing the
work of the farm, and it all came naturally to mc.
The life was a revelation to Juno. She had never
[i6 4 ]
been in the country, to see the beginnings of things
agricultural, as she had always spent her summers at
the height of the season at some fashionable resort,
carefully guarded by nurses or companions. Yet she
did not long for "dear old Avenue Five" as Lizzie
had for her old haunts.
Juno's almost childish wonder and enthusiasm
and her naive remarks were a constant joy to both
my dear mother and to me. Juno and Mother loved
each other from the very first. To her death, my
mother was always happy in our love and friend-
ship for each other. Never by word, look, or act did
she ever betray in any way that she mistrusted any-
thing unnatural in the devotion which existed be-
tween us. How could she believe that such a love
were possible, when we both believed that we were
the only ones in the world who cherished such a
We never wavered in our belief that ours was the
very highest type of human love, and our joy in
each other grew greater and greater all the time.
Now, in my declining years I still believe that, while
it lasts, such a relation is the highest and most com-
plete union of two human beings.
To our friends, ours was "an ideal friendship,"
and we knew hardly a married woman who did not
envy us that oneness of heart, mind, and purpose
which we manifested to the outside world. No one
knew of the real union, of our bodies.
IN THE fall, after a most successful season so
far as crops went, my mother decided she could
not let me do the hard work of carrying on the
farm in order to give her a home. She felt that it
would be better for me to go to the city, while she
would go to California to a brother who was unable
to come to her but who was glad to have her make
her home with his family. So after everything,
including the farm and all belongings, were sold,
and my mother had left for the western coast, Juno
and I went back to the city, with a little Cocker
spaniel which Juno had acquired, to start a new home
of our own.
This time we took a large studio near the school
where Juno was to begin her new duties. It was in-
teresting to construct a cozy home in what seemed at
first quite a big barn of a place. We went at it slowly
and, as our tastes were alike, we reveled in each new
I took up my brushes again with a strong feeling
that perhaps I would still be able to fulfill at least
one of the predictions which had been made for my
future. In order to enhance my income, I was obliged
to commercialize some of my art by making Christ-
mas cards, favors, place cards, and the like, which
did not appeal to me. Designing I loved. But when I
found, upon showing what promised to be a good sel-
ler, that I was obliged to duplicate it perhaps hun-
dreds of times, the work became very monotonous.
I became a sort of a machine with my hands,
while my real joy was in the thoughts of our great
love. The hours we were together, however, were
indeed worth while. During the "season" I had to
work night and day as, in some way, my designs
were always popular and I had to make hay, and wait
for the duller times to do the kind of painting I really
I seemed to be full of the beauties in nature which
I had imbibed during my childhood, during my
walks with my father. He would often take me out
to see some wonderful sunset, which would not be of
the spectacular kind to attract attention, of which I
once heard some one say, "Oh, it's just like a chro-
mo!" She might have added "Ain't nature grand!"
But the things Father wanted me to see were the at-
mospheric effects and the dull blended colors which
seemed to have such great depth and allure — some
little glint of color which would but emphasize the
duller yet vibrant backgrounds.
Of course, Juno would always think that each and
every one of these little "tries" were wonderful, but
would always look forward to the time when I might
[i6 7 ]
be able to work right before the subject which I was
now able to recall only from memory.
These little oils were a joy to me as, once in a great
while, I seemed to catch one little bit which pleased
me. At times my friends would look at them and
whenever they expressed a preference for one, I
would give it to them, feeling happy that anyone
could find something to admire in my crude at-
tempts. Incident to this, I recall a day, years and
years afterwards, when great changes had come in
all our lives. I was being shown a collection of pic-
tures which a brother of Juno's had made and hung
in his drawing room.
The millionaire, "multied" many times over, had
died and left a few thousands to each of the nieces
and nephews. The uncle had had a marvelous col-
lection of rare canvasses which he willed to the city.
The brother of whom I am speaking was keen to
emulate the rich uncle and began backwards, as it
were. Instead of regarding an art collection as the
result of study and adequate riches acquired by hard
work, he thought to use a large part of his inheri-
tance in buying pictures. To me the drawing room
looked very much like the picture sales room in a
department store. There was not a painter's name
familiar to me, and the pictures had little merit, as
far as I could see. I was frightfully embarrassed, for
I felt he was waiting for my applause. I said little,
hoping he would think it was from suppressed emo-
tion that words failed me. Finally we came to rather
a small canvas in a shadow box which attracted me.
Here was my chance ! I exclaimed: "Is this a Corot?
How wonderful!" He smiled in a rather peculiar
way and said, "That is what it is called."
As I turned to him I saw there was a very quiz-
zical expression on his face and asked him the cause
of it. I was afraid I had made some awful faux pas.
He said: "Don't you really know who painted that
picture?" I told him I did not. He then turned on
a stronger light and drew me up to the canvas.
Much to my chagrin, there in the corner were my
own initials which I had placed there over thirty
years before. When he liked the thing I was doing
I had given it to him in gratitude.
He said that everyone who saw the picture had
thought as I did, yet it was not even an attempt at a
copy. If one could be turned to color, I would say
that something in me had always been in perfect
harmony with Corot's expressions of soul on canvas,
as my heart has been in accord with the strains of
harmony of Chopin's music.
At that moment (remember, it was thirty years
after the events of which I am writing) I felt the
artistic personality in me rise up, pointing with a
finger of shame because I had neglected to carry on
the art work in which I believe I had some talent.
However, I will now go back to the studio where,
after busy days, each with her own work, Juno
[i6 9 ]
would rush into my longing arms for our night of
love and peace.
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For some time Juno and I believed it to be wise
to receive our men friends now and then as suitors,
in order to blind our unsophisticated friends to our
love for each other, firmly believing it to be unheard
of before. We believed it to be the highest type of
love ourselves, however, and had nothing to hide from
our point of view.
Our love for each other but increased by our con-
tact with men. Never were we even tempted to have
a male in our intimate lives. We were thoroughly
bored when it was necessary for one to accept an
engagement which would separate us for even a few
We finally declined all such invitations, and it
was then understood that while we loved to go to
the theater and to concerts we preferred to go to-
gether. So tickets, flowers, candy, and the like were
ever forthcoming for us to enjoy by ourselves. We
would go to dinners with our men friends, but al-
ways when there were two escorts.
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We grew perhaps rather selfish with our free time,
somewhat to the distress of our families and our old
friends. With each other there was never a selfish act
One old friend of ours, quite a philosopher,
whom we had often visited at her country home in
the summer, watched us very carefully. We dined
with her (she was unmarried and lived alone with
only her servants in attendance) regularly once a
week during the winter, as did she with us. She told
us that in the five years she had been in our lives she
had been trying to discover which of us two was the
selfish one, and she had not been able to find an
Having about the same income, we decided at the
first to have but one bank account. When our friends
knew this a breakup of our friendship was predicted.
Men especially said it would never work — that
money should be kept out of any friendship just as
it should not be allowed to come between husband
and wife. Notwithstanding these warnings, we never
had a clash on that account. Each wanted the other
to have the lion's share. But there was no lion. We
each had what we needed and all was share and share
In this union my role was the one which was the
most natural to me, that of the male. Not that Juno
was ever one to sit down and let me wait on her
hand and foot with never a move to do little things
for me, as do some women I have known. It was in
the greater things that I always took the lead. In
our travels about the city and outside, I always
bought the tickets, engaged cabs, let her enter a car
or door first, and saw that she got a seat if possible.
Not that these were "great things," but I use them
as an illustration of my attitude of protection, which
was my very nature.
An incident comes to my mind which may fur-
ther explain the point. Years after the studio days,
we were returning home together after our work.
It was raining. Juno was suffering from her month-
ly illness and I was most anxious to get her home as
soon as possible. We lived so far up town that a cab
was impossible, considering our state of finances.
We were obliged to change cars at an intersection
where our car had to turn a corner before it stopped
for us. Men who were waiting for the same car
would go and get on before the car turned the cor-
ner, while it was still moving. By the time it got to
us it would be filled, with "standing room only"
available. A car was approaching, and I saw an
opportunity for a seat. I told Juno to stand close to
me. Then as the car approached I grabbed the up-
right bar (it was an open car as it was summer) and
stood back for her to climb on. A man came up
behind me and tried to push my arm away from the
hold I had. I turned a bit without relinquishing my
hold and gave the man (well-dressed, with every ap-
pearance of a gentleman) a mighty shove with my
shoulder so that he went sprawling in the mud.
Juno got her seat without knowing what had
happened. I went past her and sat down and in came
the muddy man and sat next to me. As he did so I
turned and said, "I'm sorry we have to forget our
sex sometimes as you seem to do." Quite taking my
breath away he politely raised his hat and said,
"Madam, you did exactly right and I apologize for
It was always my desire to make Juno comfort-
able and happy and to guard her from anything un-
desirable. Our friendship was the envy of all of our
friends, both married and single. It was an ideal
union of two souls.
The girls in the school all adored Juno and when
later I was asked to take up the duties of chaperone
for some hours (oh, yes, these girls were carefully
guarded!) I became very much interested in them
as a class and I had reason to believe that I too was
popular with the girls.
A few days after the opening of the new term a
dear, new girl from the Middle West came to Juno
in tears and, weeping on her neck, declared she must
go home that very day. She simply could not stay
in such a wicked place. She had been shocked beyond
endurance. She told Juno that her room-mate, a
girl in a higher class had, last night after hours,
given a "smoker" in their room, and she was dis-
graced for life. Juno gave her what comfort she
could and turned her over to the president-owner of
the school, whose duty it was to turn out "finished"
girls. The principal remarked to Juno afterwards
that this same child would probably give the next
"smoker" in less than two weeks. Such apt teachers
are the girls in a fashionable "finishing school for
girls." She was right. Little "Mid West" had been
Both Juno and I liked this particular girl beyond
most of the others. We made a great exception in
her case and let her come to our apartment once in
a while for tea, when we were free. These days for
her were evidently marked with large "red letters."
As she was to come into my life many years after,
this is the reason for introducing her now.
BEING very fond of the theater, we were
rather faithful "first-nighters." One play
opened in which an actress impersonated
several different characters during the performance,
making lightning changes in the wings so rapidly
that she would walk out one side of the stage and
appear almost at once from the other side in a com-
plete change of costume and as an entirely different
character. A new stunt in those days and very clever,
we thought. When she appeared as a young man we
were both fascinated. She took the part to perfec-
tion and was more than attractive to us.
We went again and again to see her and finally
we decided we would like to know her. We knew it
to be a most irregular thing to do and one which we
had never dreamed of doing before. But both
thought it would be rather fun, so one evening be-
fore the play we sent her some flowers and a note
telling her how clever we thought her and that we
would very much like to know her if she would
permit us to call after the performance. We told her
where we would be sitting so she would be able to
size us up if she cared to do so.
Of course we were full of curiosity as to how she
would receive the proposal. In her first appearance
she wore some of the flowers and with her wonder-
ful eyes she gave us a look of approval which quite
thrilled us. We noticed another girl in the cast who
looked at us very often and with seemingly great
interest. We wondered why. Soon an usher handed
us a note from "Little Ben," as we will call her, the
one who had so attracted us, asking us to come to
her dressing room after the performance and saying
that an usher would be waiting to conduct us to her.
She probably knew we were not accustomed to find-
ing our way "back stage," which was the truth.
This was to be our first experience.
We were dressed in our well-made tailor suits, as
we wore these costumes always when we went out
by ourselves and to business. I had always preferred
to dress in this way, and Juno adopted the same
mode after we were together. So back we went,
feeling very important to be shown to the dressing
room of the star! She received us very graciously,
assuming the role of the correct hostess. She was
smoking, as was her "best girl," to whom she intro-
duced us. It was the one who had been eyeing us so
closely during the play. We joined them in their
smokes and chatted while Little Ben was dressing
in her tailor suit very similar to ours. We liked them
both and I imagine we felt very doggish when we
drove away with them in their four-wheeler.
[i 7 6]
Taxis were unheard of then. We asked them to
go with us to supper, but L. B. insisted that we sup
with her in their suite, as she was too tired to go
out. Besides, she hated restaurants. This we after-
wards appreciated better than we did then, as I will
We were very careful not to betray by word or
glance that our relationship was more than that of
good friends. We were rather conscious of the fact
that this was the first time we had ever met anyone
without the conventional introduction. We both
wondered after leaving them if they possibly cared
for each other as we did, but clinging to the belief
that we were the only exponents of such an attach-
ment, we put the thought out of our minds as ri-
Little Ben certainly played the part of the per-
fect lady on that night and on many occasions af-
terwards when we were together. At her rooms we
often met other actors and their wives, as well as
unmarried ones of both sexes. Everything was very
interesting and jolly without any undesirable oc-
After a few weeks, her engagement ended and
their next stop was at San Francisco across the con-
tinent. Of course we saw them off at the Grand
Central and had their stateroom filled with flowers
and candy. At the train L. B. introduced us to a
very tearful young lady whom we had never seen
before. The tearful one seemed heartbroken at
the thought of parting with L. B., who took us
aside and asked us to be kind to the child and try to
keep her with us for that night at least. She gave us
no clue as to why she should ask this of us, and we
were still puzzled to know just what to do when
the train left. The weepy friend, whom we will call
Smith, had collected herself to the extent of telling
us she was obliged to go to Brooklyn to see a friend
for a few minutes, and she asked us if we would
please go with her. That seemed easy — as easy as a
trip to Brooklyn could ever be!
Upon arriving we were presented to a most as-
tonishing personality — a little woman with short,
black hair tinged with gray, wearing heavy white
silk pajamas, smoking, and very hospitable. She had
the most charming manners and beautiful but very
piercing hazel eyes. She looked us through, and I
knew at once that she too knew! I was impelled at
first to seize my Juno and run, for I did not want
to think that there was anyone else in the world who
knew of love such as ours. Of course, I did no such
foolish thing, and in a way I was held by a certain
fascination which I could not analyse.
In one way we, both Juno and I, were glad of
that night, for we stayed all night, which was
nearly all given up to listening. We learned a great
deal. I will call our hostess "Phil," short for Philos-
opher. We dined, of course, and all smoked, and Phil
did most of the talking. She talked freely about
herself. Early in the evening we learned from her
lips that she was a bastard and that she had had
many love affairs with women. She was well edu-
cated and spoke beautiful English with a British
accent. We afterward knew that her father was a
British nobleman, but she never divulged his name
to anyone. He made her an allowance, and she vis-
ited him at intervals during his life. Her mother was
an Italian for whom she had no love. She was a
great student of philosophy, ever seeking, as she
said, the Truth. At this time she was a Theosophist
and a near friend of Madam Blavatsky.
We were fascinated by her as something unique
in our lives. When we left the next day, Smith was
quite herself again, as the Philosopher had argued
her out of her mood. It seemed she had been the
favored one with Little Ben for a number of years.
Phil warned us against any further contact with
Little Ben, as she was a very notorious character
in all large cities and to be seen with her would
condemn us at once. We always felt it was mighty
fine of Little Ben, realizing as she must have done,
and as did Phil, that we did not really belong in that
class, to have protected us thus.
Phil did interest us more and more. We saw her
frequently and we became warm friends. Her life
had been spent largely in Europe, and her loves
had all been women of great beauty and famous in
the world of letters and on the stage. We had ample
proof of the marvelous stories she told us, as there
were many letters and autographed photographs
which she showed us.
At last, and too late, did I find that I was not a
creature apart as I had always felt. How much suf-
fering would have been saved me and what a differ-
ent life I would have led if I had known earlier that
we are not all created after one pattern nor accord-
ing to any set rules, but that each is as "normal" as
In spite of all we learned at the feet of the Wise
One, neither Juno nor I could reconcile ourselves
to the thought that we were of that class who
seemed to have little constancy. We knew we were
not promiscuous as were Little Ben and Phil, who
was much older than we and said she was through
with love forever. We could not speak of our love.
It was too sacred to us. We also knew that we had
not entered that group because of any thought that
they were of a class apart, but in the irregular way
which I have described because of curiosity about an
actress who acted the male so perfectly. We were
not sexually attracted by her or by any whom we
met by knowing her. We were sufficient unto our-
selves, though we both thirsted for knowledge on the
None of our other friends or family were ever
introduced to any of this group. We were as chil-
dren whose curiosity had been aroused, and we were
also anxious to learn as much as possible of a love
which was, and to me ever will be, of a beautiful
type but which has carried a stigma in the minds
of many who have never understood it in its per-
What wonder that I, who had experienced what
I have related, had not much respect for the ac-
cepted form of marriage! There certainly was not
much of sanctity in the marriages that came under
my notice, and I have not changed my mind in the
least from all I have since known. I do not say that
there are no true unions in marriage, but with mar-
riage as an institution today, I think many will
agree with me, there is certainly something wrong.
But as to Juno and me, I shall always feel that as
long as our lives together lasted (Oh, yes, there came
a break, but our union lasted much longer than
most marriages do nowadays, notwithstanding), it
was the purest and most ideal of any type of union
There was not a human impulse in my nature
that Juno did not meet. She represented the highest
type of any kin. She was my child, my sister, my
sweetheart, my wife, my pal, my friend, each dis-
tinct in its character. She completely filled my life
with joy as long as I was able to hold that love.
The one time that we were forced to make a trip
with Phil, we were convinced that in some way she
was a marked woman. An epithet was hurled at her
which made the cold shivers run down our backs.
While she was the only one addressed, we felt ut-
terly degraded, and she was so angry we feared there
might be murder then and there. We understood
her aversion to going on the street. Yet there was
nothing coarse about her appearance. Her hands
were beautiful, and her features showed her to have
been well born.
What a brilliant mind was there, powerless to be
used for the benefit of mankind because of the con-
ventions of society which made it impossible for
her to find a place in the world! A convent as a
child, where all her natural propensities were de-
veloped to the full. Then as a young woman, life
in the European capitals, where she had entree to
the best circles. Later to New York, where she was
so shamefully treated.
JUNO and I always felt out of place among the
people who were "different," we felt so se-
cure in our love for each other and so out of
their class; yet we kept in touch with them in a
degree ever curious. While we were with Phil one
day there came to see her a youth about twenty years
old — handsome with a wonderful complexion, well-
groomed, clever in music and an actor of sorts,
though not a star. I noticed that Phil was watching
Juno and me very quizzically, apparently for some
reaction on our part. He sang and played for us and
was very charming. After he had gone, Phil asked
us how we liked him. We said we found him very
attractive and talented. Upon further questioning
we acknowledged that we had seen nothing strange
She smiled and then proceeded to enlighten us
on another phase of the great problem of sex. She
said he was the perfect type of invert. She went on
to explain the meaning of this term which we did
not know. We were aghast! While we had been
astonished to learn that there were other women
who cared for each other, the surprise was even
greater to discover that there existed a like propen-
sity in men.
It seemed no less than a crime that we, grown
women, should not have known these things. Other
women, mothers of boys, there must have been
thousands, did not know of conditions like that, we
had all been "so carefully brought up!" Imagine
sending our young boys to the great cities so ignor-
ant of the menace of the male solicitor on the streets,
even though they may have been warned about the
women who might approach them!
Just at that time it was considered very smart to
go slumming in New York. Of course we wanted
to see everything and do as the rest of the people were
doing, so we went slumming too.
With two men friends who knew the ropes, and
one other woman we put in one night of frightful
experiences. We knew many of our married and
unmarried friends who were anxious to go again
and again, but that one night was all we ever wanted
of slumming. The ugliness of the displays we saw
as we hurried from one horrid but famous resort
to another in and about the Bowery has no place
here; for many years I have tried to forget the
sights I saw that night, so that I dislike even to
try to recall them. However, as a matter of edu-
cation I am glad I went that one time. In the
study of types, it was a good school. Seeing hun-
dreds of male inverts, for instance, gathered to-
[i8 4 ]
gether in a group made it easy to recognize them on
any occasion where we might meet or see them, and
so avoid any contact.
Juno and I had had enough of that class of hu-
mans. For many years we kept to ourselves and let
them all drift out of our lives. We had had our
education along those lines and that was what we
were after. Phil did come into my life many years
later, as I shall relate in time.
Our lives were on a much higher plane than
those of the real inverts. While we did indulge in
our sexual intercourse, that was never the thought
uppermost in our minds. That was but an outlet for
emotions which too long had been pent up in both
our lives for the good of our health. We found our-
selves far more fit for good work after having been
thus relieved. But we had seen evidences of overin-
dulgence on the part of some of those with whom
we came in contact, in loss of vitality and weakened
health, ending in consumption.
The "finishing school" where Juno was engaged
had to be closed some time later on account of the
physical breakdown of the owner, and Juno took
up secretarial work with a philanthropist. A year
later I too accepted a position with the same lady,
taking charge of another branch of the great work
she was doing for the benefit of mankind.
Side by side we worked for over five years, hav-
ing our own little apartment always near to our
place of business. Our employer had three summer
residences, and we were obliged to go to nearby
boarding places during the summer. At one of
these family boarding houses we met a very inter-
esting young woman a little younger than we, and
we three became very good friends. This girl,
whom we will call Mollie, showed a marked pref-
erence for Juno, which rather amused us; but
there seemed no danger, as Juno was very frank
about it. However, as Juno and I talked it over we
thought out of consideration for Mollie, who might
become too fond of Juno, it would be better to drop
the intimacy quietly when we took our departure
for the city at the close of the season, and so we did.
One day . . . Yes, there came a day ... I am tell-
ing it all . . . several months later, Juno had some
business for our lady philanthropist (whom I will
refer to as L. P. hereafter) which took her to the
town where Mollie lived. No mention was made of
Mollie, as Juno was not to go anywhere near the
little hotel. It never entered my mind that she might
think of doing so. She did not go that morning to
the office which was in the home of L. P., but went
directly to the train with the hour all arranged on
which she would return.
Imagine my terror when I found in my desk that
morning a note from Juno telling me she had be-
trayed my confidence and had probably forfeited
my love because she had been seeing Mollie all win-
ter now and then, had kept up a correspondence
with her, and was to be with her a part of that day.
She said she would return to the city on the train
agreed on; if I felt that I could forgive her, I was
to meet her, but if I were not there she would know
that I was not able to do so and she would go out of
my life. She vowed that she loved me as she never
could anyone else in the world and regretted deeply
that she had so deceived me.
I was nearly out of my mind. I could not stay in
the office. I told L. P. that I had received some very
bad news and asked for a leave for the day, which
she gladly granted. After leaving plenty of work
for my stenographer to do, I left. Where I went I
never could remember. I walked and walked and
when I was so tired I could walk no more, I took
a hansom and drove and drove, much to the con-
sternation, yet at the same time benefit, of the man
on the box.
I made many efforts to reach Juno by telephone
but to no avail. Finally, after what seemed to me a
thousand years, I bought a big bunch of violets and
went to the station, hours before the train was due,
and there I waited and waited. At last she came, look-
ing very pale and worried. I took her in my arms
and we went home happy.
A strange thing is love!
I had suffered the tortures of hell from my first
attack of jealousy, a sensation until then unknown
to me. But alas ! it was not to be my last ! I realized
later that at that time I should have ended our lives
together. But I was not strong enough to do it.
I thought there could be no greater suffering than
I had endured that day, so I took her back to my
heart, thinking that time would heal that deep hurt.
Again she promised positively that she would have
nothing more to do with Mollie, and I believed her.
When summer came again, there seemed to be no
other way than to plan to go back to the same family
hotel where Mollie lived with her family. I rather
questioned the advisability of this, but Juno accused
me of still being jealous and not trusting her. She
vowed that she never could be jealous of me, no matter
what happened, and so we went there.
It was fortunate in a way that we did so. I
saw how things were going and was very unhappy
and sad. I said but little, and again I was told that
she could not understand my being jealous and that
hers was the greater love because she could not feel
the way I did under the same circumstances.
All these details of the reactions of our love may
seem irrelevant, but it is my wish here to show the
great and beautiful aspects of a love such as ours,
and then to show the other side, the depths to which
it was leading. I am trying to show that in all at-
tachments of the heart and body there are two dis-
tinct sides and that there must be a distinction be-
tween Lust and Love.
As long as Love, embracing companionship, sym-
pathy, compatibility, and understanding, is the greater
urge in the union, all is well and to me the ideal, but
when Lust has the greater hold there is bound to be
After Juno had made the assertion that she could
not be jealous, I (cat-like) descended to the lower
plane and decided to give her some of her own
medicine. I deliberately went to work to win Mol-
lie's love, and I did win it. I was quite a past master
in the art, though the boast is unworthy. Mollie was
a hungry child starving for emotional relief (which,
by the way, I never gave her), and I knew it. Poor
Juno ! She almost went out of her mind and begged
for mercy as she acknowledged that she was being
torn with the most dreaded of all diseases, jealousy.
This was all pretty hard on poor Mollie, as she
was madly in love with me at this time. But I want-
ed, selfishly, to give a dose large enough to let Juno
see how she had made me suffer.
About this time a rich relative had given Juno
an annuity, so it was not necessary for her to keep
on with her work. She would not give it up, how-
ever, unless I would do so too. I did not feel that I
could give up a good position which would last me
as long as I liked, for by so doing I would not be
able to keep up my share of the expenses. So we
went on for a while and I kept up my friendship with
Mollie, not seeing her very often, however.
I have wondered since if Juno's suffering may
not have been because of Mollie's transferring her
affections to me rather than because of my seeming
interest in her. Be that as it may, Juno was very
anxious to get away from the city and at last I con-
sented to give up my work and go with her some-
where. I had saved quite a good little nest egg in
case of emergency, and as Juno's allowance was
sufficiently large enough for us to live on if we went
to the country, we did so. Juno promised that she
would always share with me her income, which
would probably increase with the death of her rela-
tive. She asked me to give up my friendship with
Mollie. Unfair to the girl as it was, I did so.
Our employer was aghast when we told her that
we had decided to give up our work. We gave her a
month's time in which to fill our positions. She was
so angry to find that we would not reconsider our
decision to leave her that I regret to say that she
rather fell from the pedestal upon which we had
always placed her. In that month she gave us about
six months' work, and we were physically unable
to accomplish all that she required. The parting was
a great relief at the end.
My mother had passed away, and I had no longer
any financial responsibilities for family. So being
assured that Juno would be able to supply my needs
if any should occur, we went to the country.
A young married couple, friends of ours in New
York, had gone to a little village in Connecticut near
the Berkshires and urged us to come there, which
we did. We soon found a place about two miles out
of town on a hill from which we got a most beauti-
ful view. There we made our home. The farmhouse
was old fashioned and spacious. With our artistic
furnishings we made it very attractive.
We took with us a girl from the home for "fallen
girls" of which I have spoken. She brought her baby
with her. This girl was as pretty as a picture, with
curly reddish hair, clear skin and ever a smile on her
lips. She loved her baby with a mad passion, as she
also loved her work. She was very happy with us
and so glad to be free from the restrictions of the
home. I don't think I ever saw so sexual a nature. A
man appearing on the place roused her to the depths,
but she never gave way to any impulse while with
us. She fought a good fight.
Juno and I took most of the care of the baby and
loved it. We took up our life on the farm with joy
and enthusiasm and felt we were really re-united.
Mollie was entirely out of our lives. Our home was
the center of some importance, socially. We found
some very congenial friends. Bridge was in its in-
fancy, and we played nearly every day between tea
at four o'clock and dinner at seven.
We determined that we would live our lives in
the way which best suited us, and others could ac-
cept or not, as suited them. We always had wine
with our dinner and a cocktail before dinner if we
were so inclined. We both smoked openly, and our
young friends were worried for fear the "natives"
would be shocked beyond belief.
We went to church with these friends, who were
ardent worshipers. Make a note of this, as later it may
cause a smile.
The next step was to invite the clergyman and
his wife to dine. The dinner was rather formal.
Lizzie was an excellent cook and a perfect waitress
and nothing pleased her more than to have com-
pany. Wine was served as usual and apparently en-
joyed by both of our guests, but especially so by the
clergyman. He was an Episcopalian, rather inclined
to "High Church."
When coffee was served in the parlor, cigarettes
were also on hand and cigars for the Domine, which
he enjoyed. As the lady politely declined the cigar-
ettes, we asked her to excuse our smoking as it had
long been our custom to do so. That was long, long
ago, when few women smoked. She was very gra-
cious in her acceptance of our habit and all went very
easily and naturally.
The invitation was shortly forthcoming in re-
turn of this occasion, and we were "accepted." We
were asked to join all the activities of the church,
which did not appeal to us especially; but we were
playing the game, so we were launched, much to the
surprise of our young friends who were so afraid
that the town would not stand for the smoking.
It was my way to lay the cards right on the table.
If there were any who objected, that was their privi-
lege. I had the greatest contempt for women who
would smoke on the sly but publicly vow they never
did such a thing, and I knew lots of them.
Of course, the world was not then able to hear
the truth about Juno's and my love for each other.
About that we made no attempt to enlighten them.
We were just dear friends. There were two other
"dear friends" who came from the city for the sum-
mers and lived quite near us. We knew, and they
knew, but even so we never discussed. They were
of the higher type, as I felt we were.
Often someone would say, "You seem more like
a man than a woman," and I have always explained
that I was brought up with a lot of boys and that
their ways had made an unerasable stamp upon my
character. That explanation seemed to satisy them.
We were very happy once more in our united
lives and love. I often yielded to the impulse to turn
again to my brushes. I did a number of little sketches
which I hope may now be giving someone a little
pleasure. I have forgotten them all, as I did the
"Corot" I did for Juno's brother.
I had a natural love for the soil and did the farm-
ing with the same enthusiasm. We had a fifteen year
old boy to do chores, as we had a horse and a cow.
Also two pigs.
Juno took charge of things in the house, a task
which never appealed to me in the least, while I
was out of doors nearly all day until about four
o'clock, when we had our games of bridge and tea.
I had a wonderful garden, both of flowers and vege-
tables. There was also a shop where I had a com-
plete set of cabinet tools and a bench to match. I
loved doing things with my hands and was quite ex-
pert in handling carpenter's tools. I made little odd
pieces of furniture, tables, shelves and the like, and
did much repairing about the house and barn. My
tools were of the best and I took great pride in keep-
ing them with a razor edge.
OUR SUMMERS spent on the farm were
ideal. Our friends and relatives came often
to visit us, much at times to the depletion
of our bank account, but we could not refuse them
as they enjoyed us and the farm so thoroughly. We
were sufficient unto ourselves, however, and were
never so happy as when alone, but we were both un-
selfish and were glad to give pleasure to others.
We had one amusing problem to meet during the
first few weeks that nearly proved the downfall of our
life in the country.
The near neighbors were the ordinary, good-
hearted Connecticut farmers whose lives had been
very restricted. The old man was a "leetie deef."
He had for many years listened patiently to a wife
whose voice had grown sharp and shrill, added to the
proverbial Yankee twang, commensurate with his
We were obliged to go to this man for help and
advice in matters agricultural. He was glad for
the extra money which this work brought him. The
wife probably classed us with a professor from Yale
University who once stopped with them for two
days in order to study either some flowers or rocks
in that area. When she told us about him she ad-
ded: "But say! Him a college professor? And him
the ignorantest man I ever see !
This dame took it upon herself to visit us each
and every evening after our dinner. She had
"washed up the supper dishes," put on a clean apron,
and came over to our house to talk! If she thought
us ignorant she certainly used an unlimited amount
of lung power to educate us! For hours she would
just talk, and talk, and talk, in that unbearable
voice and never by any chance did she ever say one
thing. At first it rather amused us, as she was a real
Mary Wilkins character, but it went beyond en-
durance and we were terribly bored and almost dis-
After one extra long session when she had gone
home, Juno burst into tears. Her nerves had given
way completely. "Is this what we've got to face by
living in the country?" she sobbed. I tried to quiet
here and said I would put a stop to it at once. I was
always the one to handle anything disagreeable
which came up in our lives.
The next day I told the garrulous neighbor that
we had come into the country to rest and to do a
lot of reading and I would have to ask her to visit
us only when we should find that her visits would
not interefere with our plans, and then I would ask
her to come. She was quite shocked, I think, that
we did not feel that her conversation was a liberal
education, but she seemed quite content with an oc-
casional chat (she doing the chat) over the garden
fence in the future.
Then did our glorious hours together begin. We
re-read much of Thackeray aloud and lots of other
worth-while things. We took an occasional run
down to the city for a good play, music, or the opera,
and incidentally to see Juno's brothers and sister.
After two or three years on the farm Juno began
to find the winters a bit tiresome, as we were many
times snowed in and our friends did not care to come
at that season. So we pulled up stakes and moved to
the village in a dear little cottage near the young
couple who were instumental in having us go to
At that time, too, Lizzie and the baby had to go
to take care of her father, who was ill. We felt it
would be lonely without the baby, of whom we had
grown very fond. So it seemed just the time to make
Everyone in town, especially in the Episcopal
Church, was excited at that time about the opening
of a church school for boys, to be in charge of a
very popular and beloved young divine.
We joined in all the activities relative to the
opening. This was to be a semi-charitable school,
catering mainly to the sons of clergymen who were
too poor to send their boys to the higher schools.
All set! The school opened and we were all on
hand to welcome and entertain the new masters
when they arrived. One of these men, the teacher
of French, was the most popular. He seemed to
choose our house as his refuge and us as his friends
above all others. This was rather disconcerting to
our young married friend — the one who asked us to
come up there. She had a perfectly good husband,
yet she made a dead set for the head master. Not the
young divine who was establishing the school — he
belonged to some church brotherhood and had re-
nounced the world, the flesh, and the devil. He
wore, by the way a most fascinating pure white
flannel and silk robe when he appeared in public,
and black at the school.
The young French master, whom we will call
Jack, proved a very interesting pal. He was bright
and entertaining, played the piano well, liked the
same books that we did, played bridge, and adored
afternoon tea. He was much younger than we — in
fact, twelve years younger than Juno, who was two
years younger than I.
This friendship grew more and more intimate.
Jack dined with us at least three times a week. In
fact, he was with us all of his free time. One day he
became very confidential and told us that he had a
lover in New York and that it was to him he went
every other week ! So he, too, was of the condemned
type. Poor fellow! Well, we could not blame him
[i 9 8]
for that. Although we made no confessions our-
selves, we felt that he knew and understood our re-
lations with each other.
Nothing occurred to mar our happiness, and we
went on for a year or two in this way. New Year's
Eve had always meant much to Juno and me. We
pledged our troth anew each time the clock struck
the beginning of a new and glorious year. I believe
it was in the second or third year of the school that
Jack had gone to his home for the holidays. We
gave a New Year's party and had a lot of the young
people at our home to see the old year out. On this
evening, as we raised our glasses for the usual toast,
Juno added, "And to the absent one." I thought I
discovered a new light in her eyes. As I went to give
her our kiss of love I said, "Is there someone else
in your mind?" Her answer was in a way evasive.
However, the pledge was renewed and nothing more
In a few days Jack came back. I was quite ill with
a severe attack of acute bronchitis and was in bed.
While Jack was there one day Juno came into my
room, and without a word of warning, told me that
she and Jack were engaged to be married !
How hard I have tried these years and years to
forget the terror those words brought into my heart
and soul! I was weak from my illness and had no
control or sense with which to meet this blow.
I was very hoarse from my bronchitis, and the
strain I gave my voice in my entreaties and argu-
ments for her to consider how she was throwing her
life and our happiness away, as it seemed to me, has
had its effect on my throat ever since.
Whether I would have done the sensible thing at
this time had I been well physically or not, I do not
know. My life was crushed! My wonderful girl
had broken her vows to me again! She changed all
at once from the dearest nurse and most considerate
friend, at times when I would be laid low for some
illness, to the most cruel of women.
The strain to which I was subjected counteracted
all the ministrations of the doctor in his efforts to
get me well. Juno utterly disregarded his instruc-
tions as to my being kept quiet, and I nearly went
When I got hold of myself in spite of the terrible
handicap of this courtship going on under my very
eyes, I wrote to Phil, who was then in England, and
asked advice to make me more reasonable. The in-
congruity of the match was, I believe, my greatest
grief. The male invert is known to be of a much
weaker caliber than the so-called normal, and all
who knew this fellow, without knowing just where
he belonged in the catalogue of humans, dubbed
him a "sissy," but very attractive as a little girl
One and all who were in our set were thoroughly
disgusted with them both, but more so with my
glorious girl, who was twelve years older than he.
In height he did not come to her shoulder.
It was all an awful nightmare, but on I struggled
until at last the answer came from the Philosopher.
She asked me to join her and a friend who had taken
a cottage in the south of England for a year. We
could divide the expenses by three and live very
cheaply. This was long before the war. She said it
would be the best thing in the world for me to get
right away from it all and the only way to be cured.
I was wild to start right away, and Juno was glad
to help me finance the trip. Most of my capital had
been used in entertaining her family, chiefly because
we were never able to keep expenses down and still
keep open house.
Juno seemed heartbroken at the parting and swore
that her love for me was just the same, but this did
not register with me. I set sail. When I went on
board, I thought the chances were as great that I
might jump overboard as that I would land in
Courage failed me when I saw the big ocean with
no land in sight, so I held on to life. I grew in-
terested in the things so new to me on the voyage
and was better of my cough when I landed. Phil
met me at Tilbury and after a day and night in Lon-
don we went down to Hampshire, where her friend
The coming together of this old, old friend and
of Phil would make a romance worth reading, but
it does not concern this tale in that detail. The
friend was an artist of note well known on both
continents and a most charming and cultivated
woman. She was on a rest year and having a year of
love with Phil. Her idea of curing broken hearts
was with alcohol. I was suffering keenly all the time,
and Phil realized how I had cared for Juno and did
still. I had for many years enjoyed a cocktail before
dinner and wine with the meal, but for drink as
drink I did not care at all.
The friend evidently did, and with my sorrow
as an excuse she insisted on beginning early in the
day imbibing absinthe or gin. The former was a new
drink to me and while I did not care at first for the
taste, the effect seemed to be what was desired, so I
held my own with her. I simply did not care what
happened to make me forget even for a moment at a
I could see that Phil was not at all happy in this
procedure, but the friend dominated us both. Phil,
however, kept her head clear, as she never touched
a drop of anything in the way of alcohol. Tea was
her passion. She wanted to talk with me and to
reason me out of my grief, but the friend was ever
on the alert that such a thing must not happen. She
tried hard to interest me in herself, but I did not fall.
We were in a lovely spot, and the spring flowers
were filling the copse where our cottage was located.
What is more beautiful than spring in England!
But these beauties gave me only momentary thrills,
as I could not seem to rise above my grief. Besides,
the physical effect of so much alcohol was showing
upon my health and even depressed me more.
Letters from Juno, so full of love that I could
have no faith in, added to my suffering. Even when
she told me that she and Jack had decided that it
was physical contact they desired, that they found
themselves happy in that relationship and that they
had given up the thought of marrying, I was not in
the least consoled. In fact, I was more disgusted
than ever. As the rich relative had said that his con-
tribution would cease when Juno was married, I
knew that the desire to marry her would not be
long-lived, as I had seen Jack's face pale when that
news came before I left.
About June I realized that my life with the two
who were trying to cure me was fast sending me to
a breakdown. So I decided to move on and see how
I could manage things myself.
When established near Bournemouth I went to
work with my pen, as my finances were getting low.
I was relieved when a cabled check for several hun-
dred dollars arrived from New York from a maga-
zine to which I had submitted an article.
Directly following this came a letter from Juno
saying that she and Jack had decided they were not
fond enough to continue their life together and that
she found that she could not bear life alone and
wanted to come to me, but that she had no funds.
I made it possible for her to come, fool that I was,
all will say and so say I now, but never was a lover
so happy in the thought that again I would have her
as of old, my companion, friend, baby, and lover.
She had ample funds to clear up all her obligations,
renew her wardrobe a little, and have her passage
and a substantial sum left when she arrived.
I found an adorable furnished stone cottage a
short distance from Bournemouth. The lovely gar-
den had a high stone wall all around it. I rearranged
things to make it look like "us." All sorrow was
wiped away, and my heart was beating with re-
I went to Southhampton to meet Juno. It was
necessary for us to spend the night before going to
our little home. I arranged beautiful flowers in the
room at the hotel where I had engaged a suite and
went to the pier hours before the scheduled time for
the arrival of the steamer.
My plan was to stay in the dear little stone cot-
tage long enough for us to see all in that locality and
to let funds accumulate, as I had other articles to be
written, and then to move on to other parts of Eng-
land and the Continent, staying long enough in each
place to absorb its real atmosphere. At that time this
could be done very reasonably and would be quite
within our means.
At last the boat was sighted and I went down the
wharf to meet my dear one and clasp her to my heart
of hearts. I felt no sexual emotion. It was not her
body for which I longed, but my other self, my true
mate. Then I saw her only about ten feet away from
my arms yet two far for me to jump. We must wait
for the slow boat to reach the alloted place. She
was one of the first to step on land and to me. The
joy of that first real kiss since before Jack had come
into our lives lingers with me yet as one of the high
spots in my memory !
Before we had got half way up the pier she turned
to me and said, "Jack and I are engaged again."
Even now I can feel the physical pain in my heart
as I heard those words! My first wild impulse was
to jump into the bay, but I had sense enough to know
that I would be fished out, so I said not a word. All
seemed to go black, yet I was able to attend to all the
details of the customs for her, and we went in silence
to the hotel where the flowers stood as a mockery of
our love. She tried to assume some pretense of joy
at being with me and in the flowers, but I had noth-
ing to say. I spent a sad and wakeful night. She said
she and Jack had spent all the money she had left of
what she had received through my ministrations and
that she had not a cent. I could not turn her loose,
so we took our train for the stone cottage, I with a
battered heart, — and she? How could she be happy?
Yet so she seemed. Nothing appealed to her in the
place I had prepared for her coming. Her whole
thought was to get to France where she could be
learning to speak French, as Jack was a French
teacher, having been educated at Grenoble. She in-
sisted that I must go with her, as she would be ut-
erly at a loss in trying to find her way alone. I had
always taken all responsibility in our business af-
fairs and I knew she really needed me if she were
to go on her way.
I was outraged by her bringing to me again what
I had gone so far away from, yet the mother heart
could not refuse her.
There was no joy in physical contact with her.
Even her forced kisses nearly choked me. Compan-
ionship was gone, as all her thoughts were on the
future with that poor fellow who had come under
her spell. There was only that need of protection
which led me on. A paid courier would have done as
well and would have been better for me, but funds
would not permit of that luxury. I did try to have
her go back to America and leave me in peace, but
this she refused to do, as Jack was coming over the
next summer and they were to be married.
There we were, and I tried so hard to play the
game until I could get away. No need to go through
the painful days, weeks and months, first a short
time in London, then on to Brussels to study French,
and finally to Paris! To what?
At times I was reasonable and did all I could to
ease the way, but there were days of rebellion when
we had very trying scenes.
The disappointment of having to see all the won-
ders of that, to me, new world through tears seemed
more than I could bear. I could not go home, as she
had rented our house for a year. So on I stayed and
tried my best to get something out of it all.
In all these intervening years I have been able
to eliminate the sorrow and to think of and speak
about things as giving me joy in my two years in
Europe. But in this rehearsal I find my indignation
at myself and with her rising again almost to the
AS SOON as we were established in Paris I
began to look about for some position
whereby I could add to my funds and oc-
cupy my mind. I tried to make myself feel that it
was joy to be near Juno and see that she was safe.
The position which was open for me was in con-
nection with a religious organization about which
I could write an eye-opener of an article, but that
for another time. A young Scotch girl was giving
up the work to be married. She stayed on for a few
weeks to show me the methods. We were constantly
together through the day and were naturally in-
terested in each other. Scotty, as we will call her,
confided in me about her coming marriage. She had
become engaged in pique, because the man whom
she really loved had not proposed to her, though she
felt sure he loved her. I felt sorry for her, as she was
going into a state where there was little chance of
happiness. After talking things over freely with me
she decided that it would be fairer to the young man
if she broke with him then than after the marriage,
so break it off she did. She had become very fond
of me, but while she was a dear girl I knew that I
could not care for her as she seemed to care for me.
Still, I was glad in a way to have someone for an
interested and I will say interesting friend when
Juno should be married, as she expected to be the
Of course Juno and I roomed together, but we
had two beds and there was never any approach to
I sensed that things were not going quite to Juno's
mind in her love affairs, but she never confided any
of her worries to me. In the meantime, Scotty was
with me more and more and we had little excursions
together. I felt that Juno was absorbed with Jack
and was quite out of any reckoning with my doings.
Christmas came and went, and then Juno did express
chagrin at not receiving a gift of some sort from
Jack, as she had taken great care that he should re-
ceive her token of affection on time. She waited
until she was convinced that he had ignored her at
Christmas, and then calmly announced to me that
she had broken off her engagement and wanted my
love back again.
I told Juno that Scotty had decided not to marry
and that, as she had taken up other work in Paris,
she and I had decided to live together after Juno
was married. I simply would not give her up and
did not. My faith in Juno was gone, though in spite
of that fact there was no one who could ever take
her place in my heart. Juno was very unhappy and
suffered with jealousy and all the agony which that
state of mind calls forth.
Scotty had invited me to go to her home in Scot-
land with her for our summer vacation and I had
planned to do so, as I did not care to be in Paris
when Jack should arrive. When we found that
there was to be no wedding, Scotty invited Juno to
go to Scotland with us, and she expected to do so.
She thought to get even with me in gaining a friend.
There was a little Irish girl who came often to the
rest rooms where I was engaged and of whom I had
often spoken as being one of my pets. Juno was at-
tracted by her and set about to win her love.
We had about us at that time quite a colony of
English, Scotch, and Irish girls who were in Paris
earning their living, as it was considered quite a
disgrace for them to go into any sort of work at
home. "It wasn't done." Oh! the chapter or the
book I could write of the experiences of these care-
fully brought up girls in Gay Paree which they con-
fided to me ! But that is another story.
It seemed strange to see Juno in the role of the
wooer, but she succeeded in capturing "Irish," as we
will call the young girl who fell for her charms.
Had that been a friendship such as was that be-
tween Scotty and me, I would not have been affected
by it, but I was soon convinced that they were in-
dulging in the closer type of intimacy and I in turn
was very unhappy.
All of this seems ridiculous and weak to me now,
but as I am trying to give a true description of our
sexual love, it has to be gone over.
When at its best, as was ours for so many years, I
still believe the love between two women to be the
highest type now known. At the same time, I be-
lieve that it may lead to the most intense suffering
known to woman.
As we were about to go to Scotland, Juno an-
nounced that she preferred staying in Paris until
Irish had her vacation and went home (where, by
the way, Juno was not invited to visit). Then Juno
would join me somewhere in England, on a prom-
ised visit with some old New York friends who were
living outside of London.
I met Juno at the appointed time in Dieppe.
While we enjoyed in a way some of the attractions
of that place, the time ended in a violent quarrel
and we decided to part company, she going back to
Paris and I to our friends in London, to wait until
Scotty should join me for our return to Paris.
I had a wonderful visit with Scotty at her de-
lightful home, and as her father and two brothers
each had cars, we toured much of that glorious
country. We were feted by all their friends and re-
lations, and played golf every day. It was my first
experience with that game, but as I had always been
so fond of any outdoor sports, I took to golf naturally
and loved it.
I knew that Scotty was still in love with the one
who was so slow in proposing. I talked with her a
great deal on the subject and showed her the fallacy
of the awful reserve she had been taught to hold
for men. When it was time for me to go to meet
Juno, Scotty went to visit the sister of the man, and
when she wrote that they were engaged I felt that
my friendship with her had not been in vain. She
was to go back to Paris for another year, however.
I made my visit to my friends, who were rather
of the type of the artist who was with Phil during
my first months, and I was not very happy. I was
glad for the time to come for me to meet Scotty and
go back to Paris, where I had determined not even
to see Juno.
Scotty and I had our apartment together, and
Juno and Irish were together. There were constant
appeals for me to let Juno come to see me, but I
positively refused. At last Irish came and begged
me to go to Juno, as she was really very ill about my
being away. Again my mother heart got the better
of me and I went.
Because of her entreaties together with those of
Irish, who said she could never fill my place, and
because Scotty also urged me to go back to her, I
did consent to take an apartment again with Juno.
But why go into the agony of the days which fol-
lowed? I knew that Juno was deceiving me in her
relations with Irish and I was again thrown into the
agonies of jealousy. I had no wish to resume any
physical relations with Juno myself, but I could not
bear the thought that some other woman was taking
that sacred place.
Realizing the futility of trying to patch up the
severed love, I finally decided again to put the ocean
between us and to come home to our little love cot-
tage, which was vacant at this time. Juno left
everything as to our house to me, as she said she
would never go back there to live.
When I arrived in New York there were many
friends to see and, among others, were Flo and the
Professor, who were established in Brooklyn. Our
meeting was very formal and circumspect. I was in
no mood for anything verging on the sentimental.
Flo was in a great dilemma about her father, who
had lost his eyesight and was in a hospital in New
York, as there was no member of their family who
could look after him. He had been a very brilliant
lawyer, but his mind was becoming somewhat
cloudy, though he was still in good physical con-
dition. It was suggested that he should come to live
with me in the country. I had nothing in view in a
business way, so I agreed to take him, with a man
servant who would valet him.
The home coming was very sad, and I was glad to
find a lot of work to do to get the house in order.
Before I had left home for Europe, one of my
young girl friends who had the same first name as
I was a frequent visitor at our house. She had sin-
gled me out as the object of her adoration. She spent
hours with me while Jack and Juno were away driv-
ing and walking, as I was suffering deeply and she
was very sympathetic and dear. She played and sang
very sweetly, which soothed me. Her little head
(she was twenty years old) was puzzling about all
sorts of things which she dared not ask her mother.
She told me astonishing things which were going on
in that little town, but she had steered clear of them
all, so she said. She told me of all sorts of things
which would stir her deeply and made her want
something, she did not know what. She was con-
sidered very delicate, and at first I wondered wheth-
er she knew more than she told, but I was convinced
that she was really innocent.
There was a case where so many would say in a
sneering way, "she needs a man to straighten her
out," doing nothing to relieve her. Doctors know
this, but they dare not tell parents, lest they lose
When I left for Europe this child was heart-
broken. She wrote me a dear little love letter to read
each day of the voyage. I never forgot that kindness,
for it helped me a lot. She was equally glad when I
returned and had the house opened for me and
flowers everywhere, though it was early spring.
I had a dear welcome from all our old friends,
and they all tried to help me forget Juno.
Juno and I wrote to each other, but the letters
were about ordinary things of mutual interest —
nothing verging on love. I saw Jack occasionally
and he seemed a very sad and subdued young man.
Although the Father — the principal of the school
— knew of this man's propensities with boys, he was
still retained in the school. The head master, how-
ever, had been dismissed, as there was an open scan-
dal in connection with the friend who had per-
suaded us to go to that town to live.
Our home was restored to its former attractive-
ness and the old gentleman arrived with the fine
colored man whom I had engaged before I left New
York. I was able to make him very comfortable and
happy. Flo and the Professor and the baby boy took
a furnished house near me for the summer, and
while there were various efforts on the part of the
Professor to resume relationships, I squelched them
at once, as I felt that there were certain parts of me
which had died and I had no thought of them.
One thing happened that summer which may be
of interest in connection with the subject of which
I am writing.
It will be remembered that in the finishing school
in New York there was one girl who interested us
deeply, the one who was "disgraced in life" when
her room-mate gave a smoker. We had always kept
up the friendship through letters, though we had
not seen her since she left school. She knew that I
had returned from Europe alone, for which she was
very sorry, as she had always thought ours to be an
ideal friendship. She was in the East visiting and
wanted to come to make me a visit. Of course I was
delighted to have her come.
I met her at the station and found her the same
enthusiastic, lovable girl as of old, yet there seemed
to be something different in her face. Possibly she
had experienced some sorrow or possibly it was
caused by the added years.
When we got to her rooms she put her arms about
me and gave me a very long and passionate kiss. I
was astonished. She then burst forth with an emo-
tional expression of the love she had always had for
me, which she had never dared to confess on account
of the friendship between Juno and me. She knew
now that I would be horrified to know that hers was
more than an ordinary love and would probably send
her home. She tried in an embarrassing way to de-
scribe the passion she felt for me. I just let her go
on and on. I really could not have got a word in
edgewise if I had tried. She told me of affairs she
had had in the school, where such things were the
rule of the day and were called "crushes," as they
always have been and are today. She told me of the
efforts she had made to reach the heights that some
of the girls had described, but she knew she must
be different from other girls and she felt that it
might be because she did not really love them.
I thought in pity of her dilemma and struggle,
seeing so well my own experience duplicated. She
begged to sleep with me, but it was a talk fest rather
I tried to tell her that my love for her was not a
physical thing and that I had no desire to have her
touch me. She felt, however, that she could never
be happy again without me and was making her
plans to go home and then to return and live with me.
She was bright and entertaining and would have
been a wonderfully cheerful little pal, but the sex
part did not appeal to me.
Her mother died very soon after she got home,
and the poor child was broken-hearted. She was
obliged to remain and care for the family and carry
on in her mother's place. Thus ended that episode.
We wrote occasionally, but in time we drifted so
far apart in our interests that we have not written
since. I judged that she was to be married and I
hope lived happily ever after.
Towards the close of the summer, the old gentle-
man gently failed and soon went peacefully to his
NEGOTIATIONS had begun towards
another field of work, which were com-
pleted by November. In the meantime,
Juno had agreed to storing what things we thought
we might individually want in the future and sell-
ing the rest at auction. This I attended to with dis-
patch, as it was heartbreaking to see the home
broken up in that way.
I then took up a work in which I had the oppor-
tunity to satisfy the great mother love which I had
ever had in my nature. I was given charge of a large
country home about forty miles from New York
which was owned by one of the richest churches in
the city and used for a fresh air and convalescent
home for the people connected with the East Side
mission belonging to that church. My whole heart
went into the work.
From being a pest in the town, the children, the
church, and all connected with it being detested and
despised by all the town people, I soon made it loved
by all. It became a real social center and I was told
the change was no less than miraculous. I created an
atmosphere of love and I ruled all by that one
greatest ruler — the love that passeth all understand-
ing. I grew to know more and more that the thing
called love in a human relationship simply had no
meaning. When the separation is made between love
and physical passion, the better for the peace and
happiness of mankind.
Here in this home I had the opportunity to study
children from every angle with both eyes open. I
was able to detect the abnormally sexually developed
little one; the masturbator, male and female; the
so-called invert, and I was able to help them meet
their problems in a sane way. The reason I was able
to do this was that I was able to detect them in the
very act. Not that I was snooping, but I had been
a past master at trying to deceive, and I knew it was
the only way by which I could reason with them.
A parent is rarely able to find these things out for
himself because he thinks his child would not be
guilty. And if he did discover any act of the kind,
all he would know how to do would be to beat the
child, and in their hearts parents well knew that
that would be no solution.
Before I left the little town in Connecticut I
promised the young friend that if there should be
an opening for her in my work I would send for her.
The first summer the opening came, and she was my
assistant. I had as other helpers two young men from
the South, graduates of a southern university. Both
of these lads fell in love with my girl. She had a
hard time deciding which she would accept, as they
both were attractive. During a very hard thunder
storm when she was protected by the strong arms o£
one of these men, the momentous question was de-
cided and they eventually married. Now they have
a dear little family and will live happily ever after.
In my contact with the children at the home, I
found to my surprise that even when they were
young enough to take naps in the afternoon they
were conscious of sex.
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I read many books on adolescence but I found
most of them dealing in generalities, while my
knowledge has been gained by actual experience.
I think some of the children believed that I
possessed some occult power to see through walls
and around corners. I would often walk in upon
them in the midst of their sexual parties, and after
they got over their surprise that they were not to
have a beating I would sit quietly and talk with
them, so gaining their confidence. I let them see
that they had a problem to solve and that I wanted
to work with them and not against them.
I met with some obstacles, however, in resisting
methods advised by the spiritual heads of the church
under which this work was being carried on. I will
give an instance. One young boy was sent up to me
whose sister had recently passed on with consump-
tion, or "con," as it was termed by the children. It
was feared that this boy was going the same way,
but it had not as yet developed. The moment I saw
the lad, I knew what was the matter with him and
what it was that was breaking down his constitution.
I watched him for some time to determine what his
methods were. I discovered that he was involving
other children in his practices.
For two days I kept my eyes on this group, not
letting them know that I was doing so. Yet how that
boy watched me ! I then figured out the most retired
spot on the grounds and watched that spot from the
house. After trailing all about the grounds to see
that I was nowhere in sight, sure enough, there they
came, innocently sauntering along picking a flower
here and there as though that was their errand.
Finally they disappeared behind the little house,
which was at the time unoccupied. I slipped quick-
ly out, arrived on the scene and interrupted them.
The big boy waited for me while I took the
youngsters to their rooms where I talked to them
and found that they had been bribed with candy. I
talked to them about the serious nature of what they
had been doing and received their promises never to
indulge in such activities again.
I then returned to the poor "con" boy. I showed
him that he was bringing the much dreaded disease
upon himself, for his family had led him to believe
that he had the same trouble as had his sister and
would go the same way. He had loved his only sister
deeply and had grieved with the parents for her. I
was able, through that affection, to appeal to him
and to convince him that if he wanted to cure him-
self of the habit which was to bring him into con-
sumption I would be only too glad to help him. I
told him that I knew that if he wanted to keep on
with that practice no one could ever prevent it. I
told him if he would come to me whenever he was
tempted I would read to him some wonderful story
or tell him one, a thing he loved, as did all of the
children, or we would do something which would
make him forget those awful feelings which came
to him. I made him feel what a wonderful fight it
would be if he could stand up like a little man and
meet that enemy face to face in a mighty battle and
kill him dead. I knew there was real boy down un-
derneath that weakened body and that a "real fight"
would appeal to him.
All fear of beatings was put out of his mind, and
the wonderful way this method was working was
most gratifying. When he would come to me and
ask if I were too busy to tell him a story, I knew
and he knew, but nothing was said and the story was
forthcoming. We were fighting the fight.
Of course, the news of the peril they had been in
and their discovery and my treatment went out
among the other boys from the youngsters, which I
felt was a good thing. In time the events came to the
ears of the powers that be in the city, and I was
summoned to appear before the board, in the office
of the Rector in the great church. The young Rec-
tor met me before I went in to the meeting and
asked me to go into the church to see the the $40,000
alterations which had just been completed. Magni-
ficent, to be sure! When we were alone he referred
to the case in hand and asked if I really detected
the thing which had come to the ears of the board.
I said I had. He then said "You know, Mrs. — ,
that boy should have been sent away at once and
put out of the home and the mission. We can't have
a boy like that in our charity work."
My blood boiled! I turned and looked him right
in the eye and said: "Dr. — , do you really believe
that would have been Christ's method?" His face
burned crimson and he had no word of answer. He
limply said, "You will find it to be the wish of the
board"; he might have added he was the rector of
that rich church and must cater to those dollars.
I went into that meeting filled with rage, well
under control, however, followed by the rector,
face still red — worshipped by all of those dear old
maids, and a few married ones. He well knew he
was despised by me. Argument was of no use in the
midst of such sanctity.
I tried to show them the fight that boy was mak-
ing, but they would not listen. The subject was dis-
missed with the command that the boy be sent home
and the words, "You know, Mrs. — , you love chil-
dren so much you do not realize the menace such a
boy is in our work."
I looked at them all in pity and left them to save
souls in their gilded sepulcher, while I went back
to try to clean up the bodies of the poor children
whose weaknesses were entirely misunderstood.
That poor boy was sent home. It almost broke his
heart as it did mine. Everyone had to acknowledge
that he was in much better health, but attributed it
to the wonderful advantage of being in the country
in that beautiful home! The mother of the boy was
violent in her protests against me, as she said it was
all a lie on my part, as her boy had told her he never
did that thing. Poor, poor boy! He was afraid of
those awful beatings. Physically afraid of telling his
mother the truth. The greatest trouble with our chil-
This will indicate the methods I was following to
drown the great sorrow of my life. I did good work.
Those children all loved me as did their parents, with
that one exception. My methods were approved and
I really loved the work.
I HEARD from Juno regularly and she came
to this country once a year to visit me. There
was very little comfort for me in those visits,
but still I wanted to see her, hoping all the time I
would find that she had tired of her life with Irish.
We tried to break off entirely. I did not write to
her for several months, nor did she to me at my re-
quest. Then came entreaties again from Irish that
it was cruel to keep up the silence and that Juno was
pining for my letters. So again I yielded and resumed
The rich relative died and Juno was left a very
comfortable fortune. She came to this country until
her affairs were settled and was with me much of
the time. Finally, at the opening of the war when
she was again in Paris, she had to come home and
she took a lovely apartment in the city. Soon she sent
for Irish to come over to be with her, as she had
money enough for two at that time. I was com-
pelled to receive them both at my home in the
country where I was engaged in the work which I
have described. This was very upsetting to me. At
last I felt that I could not see another with the one
who had been my all in all, so I decided this time to
put the continent between us and went to the other
side of America.
I resolved not to go back to my work in the East
and resigned my position. The whole town and the
children and parents protested and petitioned me to
come back. But I could not face the heartaches that
would be waiting for me.
I established myself in a little home in the moun-
tains where I could conduct a business which would
bring me a living. I hoped to live and die there.
About the time that I was well settled and was mak-
ing some headway in conquering my sorrow, Juno
wrote to me that she had at last become tired of
Irish and had made her marry a man from her own
home in Ireland who had long been a suitor. Juno
accomplished this by promising that she would go
with her to Ireland and see her married, which she
did during the war. Juno had returned and wanted
to come to visit me in my mountain home the next
spring, promising that she would stay six weeks.
When she came I was again in raptures, but
there was no resumption of anything intimate. She
then told me of her love for a married man and that
it was returned. Well, that is her history. It was
another heartbreaker for me, however, when, after
she had been with me for ten days, the man appeared
and demanded that she should go home with him the
next day, which she did.
The following Christmas, Juno's brother wired
for me to come for the holidays and sent me the
money for the trip. He said he needed me. I went.
Juno did not know of my coming until her brother
asked her to go with him to meet a friend who was
coming that night. When she saw me she was far
from pleased, and my stay in New York was any-
thing but pleasant. Her brother was distressed at
the thought that his sister could become entangled
with a married man, and thought that I could per-
suade her to give the thing up and go back to me.
I got back to my mountain home as soon as pos-
sible and have never seen the lady since. The man
got his divorce and they were duly married. Her
husband has gone through all of Juno's money. We
still write occasionally and I do not suffer all the
time, but even now I have the old sorrow come back
and I will always look upon those years with my
beloved Juno as the most perfect that anyone could
have, and worth all the suffering they have brought
into my life.